"Amarillo" (with two L's) got Ryder Heitz, a seventh-grader from Newell Middle School, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, for the Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on June 1 and 2. She also had to spell 31 other words correctly, as the contest lasted 32 rounds.
The state contest took place at Dakota State University in Madison, SD, sponsored by the Madison Daily Leader.
The word "extravaganza" took out local winner, sixth-grader Lexis Sherron, at round 31 after going toe-to-toe with Ryder for round after round. Lillie Dennis of Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls took home 3rd place after stumbling on "incorruptible," and Riley O'Neil got 4th when he misspelled "dungaree."
Pronouncer was yours truly, with judges Stacey Berry, Deana Hueners-Nelson, and Donna Hazelwood. Jay Niedert was the host, and the whole event was organized by Marcia Schoeberl for the Madison Daily Leader.
Go Ryder! The big event is only 82 days away!