The event, sponsored by the Southeast Education Service Center, included the winning local spellers from Emery, Grand, San Juan and Carbon counties.
Kevin Park lost in the final round to Grange Simpson, an eighth-grader from Albert R. Lyman Middle School in Blanding. Teddy Park beat out Victoria Nelson, a sixth-grader from Carbon County, for the third-place finish. Miranda Corbin, a sixth-grade student at Helen M. Knight Elementary School, also competed for Grand County in the event.
As the winner, Simpson will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to Bee Week and will represent Utah at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. in May, officials with the Southeast Education Service Center said.
Simpson defeated Kevin Park by correctly spelling two consecutive words, malcontent and pentagon, according to a news release from the Southeast Education Service Center. However, if a speller misses a word that competitor remains on stage until all contestants in that round spell a word.
The event, which lasted 10 rounds, featured students spelling a wide variety of words that ranged from hamster to prabhu. Chas DeWitt from the San Juan School District served as the pronouncer for the event. The pronouncer ensures that each student understands the word he or she is asked to spell and provides information about the word origin and part of speech, if requested. At the request of a contestant, the pronouncer will also use the word in a sentence to further clarify its meaning.
In this format of the spelling bee, students are never asked to spell a word that another speller misspelled, officials said.
Each of the spellers received a trophy and some contestants also were awarded prizes, according to the news release.