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Home court advantage seemed to help a pair of Bement brothers as they took the top two slots in the Piatt County Spelling Bee, held Thursday (Feb. 7) in Walsh Gym in Bement.
Bement Middle School eighth-grader Paolo Kinsella took top honors by spelling “spartan” and “decoy” to edge out his sixth-grade brother Leo Kinsella, who bowed out on the word “newton.”
Both advance to the 2013 Regional Spelling Bee at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 16 at Millikin University’s Albert Taylor Hall in Decatur.
They are the sons of Tom and Connie Kinsella of Bement.
A total of 25 students from five Piatt County school districts competed in the bee, and each had at least one make the final eight.
It took just seven rounds to get down to the Kinsella brothers, with contestants bowing out on words ranging from “stratification” to “quantitative.” At the same time words such as “miasma” and “polymathic” were spelled correctly by the youth who ranged from fourth through eighth grades.
The pair of finalists battled through 12-rounds of a spell-off before a winner was named.
Contestants from schools in Atwood-Hammond, Bement, Cerro Gordo, DeLand-Weldon and Monticello took part in the competition.
County spelling bee participants by school were:
Atwood-Hammond – Shalie Taylor, Corbin Moore, Gage Streible, Colton Romine, Abby Foreman.
Bement – Victoria Vandivier, Braden Fogerson, Leo Kinsella, Natalie Glennon, Paolo Kinsella.
Cerro Gordo – Kaela Durbin, Savannah Weaber, Jake Hayes, Chris Hoving, Emma Tuttle
DeLand-Weldon – Ashley Campbell, Emily Sinks, Emilee Fenton, Lauren Trimble, Wesley Young.
Monticello – Riley Combes, Annie Clifton, Sophie Morrison, Kaitlyn Heistand, Katlyn Smith.