|Turrentine Middle student wins 2013 spelling bee|
Scott Muthersbaugh / Times-News
Ryan Steed, of Turrentine Middle School, is the winner of the 2013 Times-News Spelling Bee. Steed is moving on the national competition in Washington, D.C. To see more photos from the Spelling Bee, visit TheTimesNews.com .
SPELL of SUCCESS
By Mike Wilder The Times-News 2/6/13
Reprinted with permission.
Before the start of the Times-News Spelling Bee, Ryan Steed looked toward his sister, Anna.
“She’s a competitor right now,” he said. “She’s looking to take me down.”
After roughly two hours, neither she nor anyone else in the field of 32 spellers could top him. Steed won the 20th annual Times-News spelling competition, which means he is headed for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
The competition was Tuesday afternoon at the Paramount Theater in downtown Burlington. It featured elementary- and middle school students who won spelling bees at local schools.
Steed’s win was far from easy. He and runner-up Evan Brady, of Southern Middle School, battled through more than 15 head-to-head rounds at the end of what Michele Terry, Times-News marketing director and bee organizer, described as the longest and toughest in the competition’s 20-year history.
Shrikar Kavirayuni, representing Blessed Sacrament School, finished third. The top three outlasted defending champion Meghna Mahadevan of Western Middle School. She came in ahead of the other two top finishers, Piotr Tarala of Burlington Day School and Mallory Jones of Bradford Academy, who went out in the same round.
Words such as “fickle” and “tundra” in early rounds gave way to “mercurial” and “misanthropy.” By the end of the third round, most competitors were out of the competition.
By the time the competition was down to Steed and Brady, words included “muishond” — a South African weasel — and “galjoen” — a type of fish, also associated with South Africa.
The spelling bee lasted 33 rounds. Steed won by correctly spelling two words, “acadamese” and “cabaret,” after Brady misspelled “dactylogram” — a fingerprint.
In previous rounds, both had missed their words, meaning the competition went on.
Ryan Steed is in eighth grade at Turrentine and Anna Steed, one of the bee’s youngest competitors, is in fourth grade at Smith Elementary School.
The brother and sister returned from competitor to sibling status right away: Anna embraced Ryan on the stage after his victory.
Steed is the son of Julie and Derek Steed. He and his sister have one sibling, Michael, a sixth-grade student at Turrentine.
Like Brady, Steed competed in last year’s spelling bee. He credited that with helping him this year.
“I realized you have to be a whole lot more prepared,” he said.
Steed said he is anxious to meet other spellers in Washington as well as enjoy the city.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said, adding practically, “all-expense paid.” Local McDonald’s operators make the trip possible for winners of the Times-News competition.