To decide the winner of the middle school spelling bee it took 23 rounds and a tie breaker between eighth graders Matt Mehr (pictured) and Matt Fuchs. Matt Mehr won the spelling bee after spelling "tether" correctly on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Third place honors went to sixth grader Alex Naujokas.
Organizer Randy Ziemer pronounced word after word for the 12 contestants in the spelling bee.
Three contestants were eliminated in the second round on words such as banana, lure, and ode.
Ziemer explained the level of complexity became more difficult as the spelling bee progressed. The early rounds used words from the beginner list while later rounds used the intermediate level list.
"I was impressed with the quality of participants and alternates," Ziemer said. "Some of the words were tricky," he added.
Competing in the contest were: sixth graders Erica Geurts, Dugan Flanders, Alex Naujokas, Morgan Kern; seventh graders Keith Klein, Emily Mehr, Shawn Reinke, Laura Weidner; eighth graders Heather Albrecht, Matt Fuchs, Eric Hansen, and Matt Mehr.
Serving as judges were Polly Jaeger and Connie Wimmer.
The first place winner received $25 savings bonds from Community First National Bank and Farmers and Merchants State Bank, and $75 from Education Minnesota-Paynesville. All the contestants received root beer floats from A&W. Mehr will now advance to the region spelling bee at St. John's University on Monday, March 12.
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