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Four local spellers compete at NCW Spelling Bee, with Chelan’s Olivia Strandberg taking 2nd place

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Forty-six (46) champion spellers from around the region competed in the 2017 NCW Regional Spelling Bee on March 16, 2017 at Eastmont Jr. HS. Both Chelan and Manson had their best spellers competing in the event. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Bertomeu)

The Lake Chelan Valley was well represented on the evening of March 16, at the 2017 NCW Regional Spelling Bee. Among the 46 champion spellers from around the state sat fourth graders David Kelly (Morgen Owings Elementary) and Afton Torgesen (Manson Elementary), sixth grader Olivia Strandberg (Chelan Middle School), and eighth grader Grant Torgesen (Manson Middle School).

The competition was fierce, but the young spellers were up to the task. All four spoke clearly and confidently, demonstrating academic skill and impressive composure for folks so young.

By round 10, the field was reduced to the top four spellers. Chelan’s Olivia Strandberg carefully considered the French origins of doublure, “the lining of a book cover; especially: an ornamental lining,”and spelled the ending –eur. Two others also misspelled words that round, and Leonardo Chen of Oroville earned the champion spot and a trip to the national spelling bee in Washington, DC. 

Olivia Strandberg of Chelan Middle School celebrates her second place win with her family and friends afterward. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Bertomeu)

From there, Strandberg battled for second against Kara Willson of Tonasket and Faith Kruse of Cashmere. Willson took fourth place in round 11. Strandberg and Kruse continued four more rounds, high-fiving over successes and commiserating over struggles as they replayed last year’s bee, vying for second place. 

In 2016, Kruse had come in second, but this year, Strandberg edged her out, finishing round 15 with essential and the champion word, urbane, to solidify a well-earned second place in all of North Central Washington.

Kudos to all of the local spellers on a job well done!

(Submitted by Cindy Bertomeu)

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