Editor's Note: The following is a release from the Valley View School District.
seventh-grader Kimberly Belser is headed to the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC after spelling “quibble” correctly in the 21st round last Thursday to win the Will County Spelling Bee championship at Lewis University.
seventh-grader Edward Owusu finished third, while sixth-grader Sharon Palli and eighth-grader Jake Cowart tied for 16th out of 43 competitors.
Belser, who uses one finger to spell out each word on her hand, spelled “slalom” correctly in the 20th round after defending champ Nina Montello of Joliet’s Cathedral of St. Raymond School misspelled “nurturance” and then won the title with “quibble.”
Making it to the 20th round wasn’t easy as she had to correctly spell quiver, crochet, abdicate, umlaut, guillotine, jiva, maladroit, banzai, verboten, pasteurize, ecru, myriad, gauche, basmati, issei, capricious, punctilio, nylon and ciliary.
Owusu went out in the 19th round when he misspelled “putative.” Prior to that he was perfect on cauliflower, physique, subterfuge, amphibious, dyslexia, aggregate, bellicose, mayonnaise, troika, stolen, genre, recidivist, serendipity, diffn, quisling, batik, escargot and fibula.
Palli misspelled “monotonous” in round four after correctly spelling pretzel, mesa and sequin. Cowart also missed in round four on “protagonist” after properly spelling condor, dynamic and lethargy.
Belser will compete in the National Spelling Bee starting on May 31.