OAK HILL - More than 50 students from across Fayette County competed in spelling bees Monday morning at Oak Hill High School.
These students competed in prior bees in order to be eligible, according to Spelling Bee Facilitator Dale Arrington. "Whether they finish first or second or third or lower in the order, they are still winners because they had to earn that to get here," Arrington explained.
24 fourth graders participated in the county's annual Elementary Spelling Bee held at Oak Hill High School. Sydney Chapman of Ansted Elementary won first place, Cade Kincaid of Fayetteville Elementary won second place and Gracie Ferrell of Meadow Bridge Elementary won third place.
Chapman said the contest was nerve-wracking but fun. "I was nervous, but when I got to the second round I was pretty excited," she explained.
30 students participated in the Fayette County Qualifier Spelling Bee for the Regional Bee in Charleston. The winning word was "occipital."
First place was awarded to Carson Cochran of Collins Middle, second place to Tori Mackowiak of Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church and third place to Chloe McCrone of Mount Hope Elementary.
Cochran said he had participated in the qualifier bee before, so that helped him feel more comfortable in his spelling. "This year, since I've done it for so long, I wasn't nervous really," he explained.
Wendy's of Oak Hill sponsored both spelling bees and participants were treated to a free lunch.
Cochran and Mackowiak will participate in the regional spelling bee in March. They will be competing with around 50 students from across the state.