Park Record spelling bee goes into overtime |

Park Record spelling bee goes into overtime

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

The finals of the first annual Park Record Spelling Bee yielded a marathon, with spellers so well prepared that a tiebreaker with more formidable words had to be implemented. When that didn’t work, a second tiebreaker, this time with words competitors had not studied was substituted until only one of the spellers was left standing.

The winner in the second and third-grade division marathon was Charlie Barth. Madeline Knauer took second-place. Parker Damon finished third

In the fourth and fifth-grade division, Cameron Perry finished first, Katie Damon finished second, and Tori Nelson finished third.

The Spelling Bee finals took place on Thursday in the Ecker Hill International Middle School auditorium, on the same day as the National Spelling Bee finals.

After the competition, a depleted Barth said the key to his success was a lot of practice.

He and Knauer were in a duel where seemingly no one would yield. One misspelled word was enough to disqualify a competitor. Participants had as much time as needed to spell a word. They could ask for a definition, ask that the word be repeated, and ask for the derivation of the word.

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Students had unique ways of trying to accomplish the same goal. Katie Damon closed her eyes, pausing after she let each letter fly. "I close my eyes and try to see the word in my mind," she said after the competition.

Perry said she sounded words out with syllables. She was quick to the draw, spelling words quickly after Marc Raymond, the master of ceremonies, presented her with a word. She credited the victory to her parents. "They helped me a lot." They were always positive. They didn’t get down on me if I’d miss a word." She said one of her favorite words is ‘transcendental.’

Students from McPolin, Trailside and Parley’s Park elementary schools competed with three winners were chosen from each class, The field was narrowed to three winners per school for second and third grade, and three winners for fourth and fifth grade in the semi finals. Parley’s Park did not participate in the second and third-grade level, said one of the founders of the event, Linda Dugins.

District board member David Chaplin and Julie Glusker, from the Park City Education Foundation, served as judges.

Linda Dugins, Tania Knauer and librarian Susan Wade put the event together. Dugins said next year would involve more grades and be more open, with students from private schools and home school students invited.

Dugins summed it all up saying, "I think it was great. I’m so proud of the kids. It is hard being up on stage in front of a crowd. Spelling a word orally is a lot different than writing it."

To celebrate, Perry said she would be eating ice cream, one of her prizes. She then wanted to call all of her friends.

Second and third-grade competitors

Molly Hanrahan, a Trailside second-grade student, was unable to make the semi final spelling bee. Cody Jensen went as an alternate.

McPolin Elementary School

1st Place

Charlie Barth 3rd grade

2nd Place

Madeline Knauer 3rd grade

3rd Place

Parker Damon 2nd grade

Trailside Elementary School

Paul Gibson 3rd grade

Cody Jensen 3rd grade

Allison Vernon 3rd grade

Fourth and fifth-grade competitors

McPolin Elementary School

1st Place

Cameron Perry 4th grade

2nd Place

Katie Damon 5th grade

Trevor Westrop 5th grade

Parley’s Park Elementary School

Preston Cervantes 4th grade

John Klein 5th grade

Devan Walls 5th grade

Trailside Elementary School

Tommy Drain 4th grade

3rd Place

Tori Nelson 5th grade

Caroline Yaros 4th grade