AMHERST — The first in a series of three spelling bees came down to a battle between two Amherst Junior High School Comets.
On Friday, seventh-grader Emma Macartney correctly spelled the word “gondola” — crowning her the winner of the West Preliminary Bee at Amherst Junior High School. Runner-up was eighth-grader Ben Yuhasz.
After hearing she had spelled her final word correctly, Emma turned to the audience in search of her parents, David and Jennifer Macartney.
Once she found them, she smiled immediately.
“I am very happy,” Emma said as she held her trophy.
Fellow Comet Ben said he practiced for the spelling bee at least once a night with his parents, Charles and Beth Yuhasz. His grandmother, Jane Sadowski, even provided a listening ear for her grandson.
“I am surprised I made it this far,” Ben said.
Emma and Ben are both looking forward to moving on in the competition.
“This was an unexpected, nice surprise,” David Macartney said.
The East Preliminary Bee will be 7 p.m. March 8 at Avon Heritage North Elementary School. It will include students from Avon Middle School, Avon Holy Trinity School, Avon Lake Learwood Middle School, Columbia Middle School, Elyria Northwood Middle School, Elyria Westwood Middle School, Elyria Community School, Midview Middle School and Sheffield Middle School.
Emma, Ben and 14 other finalists from Friday’s bee will join next week’s 16 finalists in the March 15 Regional Finals Bee at Midview West Elementary School.
The champion of the final bee will represent the Educational Service Center, Region 2, and The Chronicle-Telegram at the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 26 to June 1.
Contaact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.