Seven of the county’s top spellers gathered in the Noble/Allbritton Elementary gym Saturday to compete in the Ashley County Spelling Bee.
The judges declared Trinity Foster, an eighth grader at Crossett Middle School, after a record-breaking 32 rounds of spelling. Ben Allbritton, a fifth grader at Portland Elementary, was the runner-up, and Joesy Barnett, a sixth grader at Hamburg Middle School, came in third.
The top three finishers began the fifth round as the only contestants still in the event and went to Round 27 before Barnett misspelled the word “deluxe”, leaving Allbritton and Foster to battle it out for first and second place. Allbritton misspelled “alderman” in Round 28, but Foster was unable to correctly spell the championship word, so both spellers again went head to head in Round 30. Allbritton misspelled ‘dissect” in Round 31, allowing Foster to spell “polka” correctly in Round 32 to come out the winner.
The words Foster spelled included hibiscus, vexation, haberdashery, apprehend, cherished, penitent, Pegasi, inertia, vocational, muttonchops, trenchant, attenuated, recompense, amethyst, Harlequin, rapacious, voltaic, concertina, fuchsia, munificent, ambuscade, Marengo, waffle, orange, garage, measure, cashew, trek, errand, and glitz.
Alan Wilson served as the pronouncer for the bee. The judges included Holly Gillum, Reid Mansur and Rep. LeAnne Burch.
“I am so impressed with these students,” Burch said. “Their poise and confidence was inspiring to everyone that was there. It was obvious that everyone worked incredibly hard to get there.”
Following Foster’s win, CMS principal Lynn Parker said, “Trinity is a remarkable young lady who excels in academics but more importantly in her relationships with faculty and other students. She is a leader who encourages those around her to do their best. We are so proud of Trinity and all that she has accomplished.”
Foster will represent Ashley County in the Arkansas State Spelling Bee on March 2 in Conway.