Douglas County's top speller proved himself to be the best in the state for the second year in a row.
Robbie Getz, 14, retained his spelling title Saturday, winning the All-Kansas Spelling Bee in Topeka. Now he'll represent Kansas in the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.
Robbie made it two in a row by correctly spelling "antsy" to win the 37th annual state bee in Topeka.
"I think the words were a little harder last year," he said. "I knew most of the ones I got this time."
Robbie, an eighth-grader at West Junior High School, went through about four hours of oral spelling competition before reaching the finals, pitted against Keith Thomas, representing Scott City Middle School.
"He missed `metallurgical,' and I spelled it right, and then I spelled `antsy.'" Robbie said.
Robbie and his parents, Jon and Judy Getz, live about six miles west of Lawrence.
"I think the difference between last year and this year was that last year we had no idea what to expect," Mrs. Getz said Saturday night.
"This year, knowing that he had a possibility of winning, it was a scary enterprise for me."
"I'm still overwhelmed by it all, but I think he's taking it pretty calmly," she said. She said Robbie is not the first Kansas speller to win consecutive state spelling bees.
Robbie will travel to Washington to compete in the national bee, which will be held May 30-31, Mrs. Getz said.
Mrs. Getz said Robbie will continue studying spelling bee books and the dictionary in order to prepare for the national bee.
Last year, Robbie was eliminated in the first round of the national bee when he had trouble with "nasturtium."