by Jennifer Biller
A Harrison County home-schooled student was the v-i-c-t-o-r at Thursday's regional spelling bee.
Kara Beevers, 13, of Jane Lew, spelled the word "filamentary" correctly to claim the win. Her final competitor, Benjamin Linville, 12, misspelled the word "homily" and finished as runner-up.
"I wasn't really nervous this time," Beevers said. "At the county spelling bee, I was nervous and shaking."
Beevers said she had been studying a practice book of words for the last couple of weeks.
"My mom would mark the words I got wrong and I would keep going back to them until I got them right," she said.
A total of 32 spellers took the stage for the competition, the largest number in the 19-year history of the bee, said word pronouncer Joe Paull.
"The words we used tonight were the most difficult we've ever had to use," he said. "These were excellent spellers."
Competitors made it through words like, "gingivitis," "parsec," and "weevil." But "muchacho," "palooka," and "riparian" sent some students off the stage.
The contestants hailed from Doddridge, Taylor, Harrison, Tucker, Upshur, Gilmer and Marion counties and ranged in age from fourth to eighth grade.
Linville, a student at Lumberport Middle School, said as the round continued the tension mounted and the words got increasingly more difficult.
"It's a lot of pressure, but the study guide helped me though," he said. "When I got the word 'swineherd,' I remembered it from practicing the other night."
Beevers will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national spelling bee during the week of May 27 and put her orthographic skills to the test against the country's best spellers.
Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or firstname.lastname@example.org.