CENTERBURG — After 16 rounds of competition, Dakota Copley, an eighth-grader in the Centerburg schools, correctly spelled manifestation and won the 52nd annual Knox County Spelling Bee on Tuesday evening.
This was Dakota’s first county spelling competition, and upon winning it he said, “It’s awesome.”
Fiona Roddy, Fredericktown, grade seven, was the runner-up.
Held in the Centerburg High School auditorium, the spelling bee started out with 18 grade-level spelling champions from Centerburg, Danville, East Knox, Fredericktown and Mount Vernon. The contestants drew numbers to determine the spelling order and had three “lifelines” to use on each word if needed. One lifeline was to simply have the word repeated; another was to hear the word in a sentence; and the third was to ask for a definition. Number three came in handy for one speller whose word was “doze,” not to be confused with “does,” referring to more than one female deer.
The spellers had to contend with words with double letters, compound words, words with silent letters and words with many syllables, and only eight contestants remained standing after nine rounds.
In Round 10, one person was eliminated by the word “replete.” “Remorseful” and “schooner” tripped up two spellers in Round 11. The others successfully navigated words such as “muscular,” “intercept,” “punctual,” “telepathic,” “embryo” and “conjure.”