LINDA MOODY/Advocate photo
April Wulber, moderator of the Darke County spelling bee, presents James McClurg, the champion speller, with his certificate.
BRADFORD - James McClure, an eighth-grader at Versailles Middle School, won the Darke County district spelling bee Thursday afternoon at Bradford Exempted Village School.
Second place in the competition went to Mackenzie Gambill, a sixth-grade student at Bradford Junior High, while third went to Nicole Brocious, a sixth-grader at Franklin Monroe Elementary.
“I studied last night and I’m glad I did,” said the champion, son of David and Michelle McClure.
“I wrote out my words five times,” remarked Gambill, daughter of Nicole Wood.
The third-place winner is the daughter of April and Jeff Brocious.
None of the three top spellers competed at the county level before.
The bee didn’t actually last that long as the winner was determined by the third round with the winning word predicament.
Since McClure was the only one in the fourth round to spell a correct word, contestants left from round three were called up to spell again. They were Bailey Stammen of Ansonia Junior High, Jacob Shellabarger of Franklin Monroe Junior High, Brocious and Gambill.
It was that round that Stammen and Shellabarger were eliminated for misspelled words, quantitative and beguile, respectively.
In the following round, both Brocious and Gambill lost with not correctly spelling their words, forensics and unforeseeable, then went two more rounds correctly spelling the words given them. However, it was the next round when Brocious misspelled the word taciturn and Gambill spelled her word, geologist, correctly.
Six of the 13 spellers went out in the first round and two went out in the second round.
Other words giving spellers problems throughout the bee were restaurant, authoritative, persistent, stratification, societal, obituary, contrivance, commodity, deodorant, arbitrary, apportion and anxiety.
Judi York and P.J. Burgett coordinated the bee, while April Wulber of the Darke County Educational Service Center (ESC) moderated. Lorraine Hart returned once again to pronounced the words; Dave Shellhaas of ESC was roundkeeper; and Carl Jones and Patty Bernhard as well as Wulber were judges.
Other spellings taking part were Ceirek Daniels of Mississinawa Valley Elementary; Mekenna Anderson of Tri-Village Elementary; Wills Troutwine of Arcanum Middle School; Macy Schepis, Tri-Village Junior High; Reece Stammen of Ansonia Elementary; Caleb Flora of Bradford Elementary; Jonathan Riley of Arcanum Elementary; and William Cozart Jr., Mississinawa Valley Junior High.
The winner will go on the compete in the regionals in Dayton in the spring.