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Ten wordsmiths from the Levy County School District tested their spelling prowess during the district selling bee at the Bronson High School cafeteria on Friday.
Cedar Key sixth grader Ariel Alexander carefully, but correctly, spelled out the word "rambunctious" to win the event.
"I was really nervous," Alexander. "I practiced every day for about an hour. I've been practicing for weeks."
Alexander bested defending champ Joseph Wolfe , a seventh grader at Chiefland Middle School, who was the runner-up after misspelling "kelvin."
As district champion, Alexander will represent Levy County in the Big Bend Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 12 in Tallahassee. If successful there, she'll then be eligible to compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
The competitors ranged in age from fourth to eighth grade. All were winners at their respective schools. Other participants were Sean Hensley (5th grade, Bronson Elementary winner), Brock Wilson (7th, Bronson Middle/High School), Victoria Hutson (Chiefland Elementary), Kaitlyn Taylor (5th, Williston Elementary), Robert Sistrunk Jr. (Williston Middle School), Drashti Patel (5th, Yankeetown School), Caroline Gill (8th, Yankeetown School) and Jonquil Kasbohm (Nature Coast Middle School).