It might not have been the winning word, but “Huzzah!” was the final word out of Isaac Ward’s mouth at Saturday’s Douglas County Spelling Bee.
It’s what this year’s champion shouted after spelling “plaid” and then “agile” correctly in the ninth and final round of competition. The seventh-grader at Bishop Seabury Academy defended his title against 25 other students. Last year Ward won on the word “hysterical.”
Isaac described his second win as “pretty awesome.”
Saturday’s competition, held at Southwest Junior High School and sponsored by the Lawrence Journal-World, drew fourth- through eighth-grade students from across the county. It was an age range that had some towering over the microphone while others were standing on tippy toes to reach it.
Many had been practicing for weeks. Second-place winner Molly Weisgrau said her parents helped by peppering her with words at the dinner table.
While she lost on the word “hilarity” Saturday morning, the Pinckney School sixth-grader did learn how to spell the word “prestidigitation.” Just don’t ask her what it means.
Isaac and Weisgrau will continue on to the regional spelling bee competition. Only students from schools that pay the registration fee can go on to the regional round.
The winner of that competition advances onto the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified which students would advance to the regional spelling bee.