Even spelling bee veterans get butterflies.
Columbia Middle School eighth grader Daniel Powell has won his school's spelling bee and gone on to the county competition for the past five years. He also went to the national spelling bee in 6th grade.
"It's exciting," Daniel said. "I was terrified."
Daniel, the son of Tim and Alana Powell of Martinez, outwitted and outlasted 20 other competitors to win the county's spelling bee last week.
Nineteen other spellers from fourth through eighth grades had been eliminated, and it was down to Daniel and Riverside Middle School eighth grader Jessica Beall.
Columbia Middle School eighth-grader Daniel Powell won the county spelling bee Thursday.
Photo by Chris Thelen
Jessica was knocked out of the final round by misspelling the word "pavilion." Daniel won by correctly spelling the word "marionette."
"We're thrilled," his mother said. "I'm so proud of him. He's worked hard. I don't know where he gets it from, but he's always naturally been a good speller. He reads a lot, so I think that helps."
Daniel, who said he studied for about two weeks before the competition, said he enjoys reading mysteries and science fiction.
He will now compete in the regional spelling bee March 8 at The Augusta Chronicle. The winner of that competition will then go on to compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee May 26-31 in Washington, D.C. As an eighth-grader, this will Daniel's last chance to clinch a national title.
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