Humphrey Middle School eighth-grader Kim Belser, who represented Will County at the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. last year, will get another shot at being Will County champion this year after winning Tuesday night’s Valley View School District 365U Spelling Bee.
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Belser correctly spelled “geode” in the 17th round after Lukancic Middle School 8th grader Elizabeth Zahorick misspelled “homburg” in the 16th round. Humphrey 6th grader John Belser, Kim’s brother, finished third, going out on the word “sachem” in round 13.
Kim Belser and Zahorick, who finished 1-2 in last year’s VVSD Spelling Bee, both qualified for the Will County Spelling Bee at 6 p.m. March 7 at Lewis University. Also qualifying for county were Martinez Middle School 8th grader Rory Richards (4th place, missed “duenna” in 10th round), Jane Addams Middle School 8th grader Edward Owusu (6th place, missed “prosaic” in 7th round), and Brooks Middle School 8th grader Malina Bun (7th place, missed “hygiene” in 3rd round.
The Will County winner will advance to the National Spelling Bee.
Kim Belser spelled 17 words correctly including hydraulic, biblical, motif, caballero, roughhewn, stucco, kipper, disparage, muslin, comportment, geranium, Diablo, taiga, pantheon, stoic and isobar.
Zahorick spelled 15 words correctly including insurrection, pesto, apathy, vernacular, nether, ardent, perennial, origami, guru, philanthropy, adamant, stenographer, embarcadero, antipasto and asterisk.
John Belser spelled 12 words correctly including souvenir, cravat, coloratura, sortie, zero, ravioli, implement, commodity, spritz, subsequent, animosity and junta.
Humphrey 7th grader Erick Ramirez finished 5th (9th round, grotto). Lukancic’s Marcelle Bonny and Brooks’ Advai Podduturi tied for 8th. Jimel Rogers and Jayden Flores from Addams, Sebastian Reid of Brooks, Kaitlyn Jones of Lukancic and Meto Ajagu and Mia Alegado all tied for 10th.