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Friends vie to be St. Paul spelling champ

Best friends Lydia Shasteen, left, and Delaney Sell, both fifth graders, prepare to spell against each other in the final rounds of the St. Paul School Spelling Bee on Wednesday. Sell correctly spelled “permafrost” followed by “abandon” to become champion and win a spot in the Columbiana County Spelling Bee on March 4 in Lisbon. Shasteen, the second place winner, will serve as alternate. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

SALEM — Best friends Delaney Sell and Lydia Shasteen battled each other in the last few rounds of the St. Paul School Spelling Bee, but when Sell correctly spelled “abandon” for the win, both left the gym smiling.

“I’m very excited,” Sell said amid hugs from Shasteen.

The fifth graders were the two left standing after four rounds of spelling Wednesday afternoon. When Shasteen missed on “squirm,” Sell missed on “treadmill,” so they both continued. Shasteen correctly spelled “crayon” and Sell correctly spelled “cowlick,” then Shasteen missed on “turnip.”

Sell correctly spelled “permafrost” and then “abandon” to become champion and represent the school at the Columbiana County Spelling Bee on March 4 at Lisbon David Anderson High School auditorium co-sponsored by the county Educational Service Center, Salem News, Morning Journal and East Liverpool Review. Shasteen, awarded second place, will serve as the alternate.

“I’m going to help her study,” Shasteen said.

Sell’s other words included “glimmer,” “cartoon” and “theme.” Shasteen’s words included “bother,” “knock” and “whisk.”

Sell’s grandma took her shopping and said random words that she had to spell as part of her preparation the night before. She also prepared for the bee by studying with her mom. She is the daughter of Julie and Christopher Sell. Shasteen is the granddaughter of Mary and Gary Shasteen.

Both students received gift cards from Barnes & Noble, along with candy and a certificate, which all participants received.

Other participants in the spelling bee included fifth graders Chloe Angelo, Ava Juggenheimer, Liliana Huzyak, Kaiden Curtis, Sam Yakubek, Ben Kuboff, Hailie Singer and sixth graders Lucas Dyke, Laura Hovorka and Sophie Agee.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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