Participants in the Chilton County Spelling Bee on Wednesday were (front row, left to right) Cheyann Barchard, Trivanna Abbott, Andrew Simpson; and (back row) Jacylin Smith (runner-up), Yahir Gonzalez, Nathan Quesenberry and Sarah Beth Huntley (winner).
Participants in the Chilton County Spelling Bee on Wednesday were (front row, left to right) Cheyann Barchard, Trivanna Abbott, Andrew Simpson; and (back row) Jacylin Smith (runner-up), Yahir Gonzalez, Nathan Quesenberry and Sarah Beth Huntley (winner).

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Huntley wins 2014 county spelling bee

Published 5:10pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014

After correctly spelling “quorum,” the 252nd word of the Chilton County Spelling Bee on Wednesday morning, 11-year-old Sarah Beth Huntley became this year’s county spelling champion.

Jemison Middle School sixth grader Jacylin Smith was runner-up.

Huntley, a sixth grader at Clanton Middle School, said this was her third time to compete in the Chilton County Spelling Bee.

“It feels great because I’ve never won before,” Huntley said. “I was really nervous. When it was me and Jacylin, I knew it didn’t matter where I went from there because I knew I would place, and I’ve never placed before.”

After two years of experience competing at the county level, Huntley said one of her strategies was to spell more slowly.

“I knew that I needed to slow down when I spelled,” she said. “I’ve done the spelling bee since I was in third grade, and each year, I’ve been trying again and trying again to see if I could win more.

“I think that Jacylin did really good, and I honestly thought at first that she was going to win this because she seemed unstoppable.”

Smith said this was her third time to compete at the county level, and it was her second time to be runner-up.

“I feel like it’s a blessing that I made it here three times,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of good spellers, especially in my school.”

Huntley will compete in the Alabama Spelling Bee set for March 8 at Oak Mountain High School.

“I’ve never been to it before, so I’m hoping that it will be really fun, and I’ll do my best,” Huntley said.

Other students competing in Wednesday’s spelling bee were: Andrew Simpson, a fourth grader at Clanton Intermediate; Cheyann Barchard, a fifth grader at Verbena; Yahir Gonzalez, an eighth grader at Thorsby; Nathaniel Quesenberry, a fourth grader at Jemison Elementary; and Trivanna Abbott, a third grader at Maplesville.

Runners-up from the schools were: Christie Xie, Clanton Intermediate; Nicolas Johnson, Clanton Middle; Logan Mitchell, Jemison Elementary; Laliah Benjamin, Verbena; Christian Fortner, Thorsby; Anna Kendrick, Jemison Middle; and Alyssa Leach, Maplesville.

The Chilton County Spelling Bee was held at the Alabama Power Conference Center in Clanton.

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