Runoff determines spelling bee champ

Columbiana County Spelling Bee winner Sarah Thompson of Lisbon.

LISBON — After an extra runoff online test, Sarah Thompson emerged victorious in the county’s 62nd Annual Spelling Bee.

Thompson, a sixth-grader at Lisbon David Anderson Junior/Senior High School, correctly spelled 18 of the 25 additional words given in a tie breaker test on Thursday to win.

Two of the words Thompson had to spell correctly were clairsentience, which was defined as the ability to clearly feel energy, and lacustrine, relating to or associated with lakes.

Thompson edged out Mya Harsh, an eighth-grader at the Salem Junior High School, who correctly spelled 13 of the 25 words correctly. Harsh was honored as the first-runner up this year.

Thompson and Harsh earned the right to compete on Thursday after tying for the top position on Wednesday, when 36 of the best spellers across the county had taken another online test. Both girls had scored 22 out of 30 on that test.

First runner-up Mya Harsh of Salem. (Submitted photos)

Those competing were given the same words, pronounced and defined by the same person, Dr. Jacques Bailly, with 35 minutes to type in their answers.

Two spellers also tied for second runners up — Elias Keshock, a sixth-grader at United, and Mystia Myers, an eighth-grader at Southern Local — after they both scored 20 out of 30 words correct on Wednesday’s test.

Thompson will be the lone county representative at the next level.

The 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee will be different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic with early virtual rounds including preliminary, quarterfinals and semifinals leading to only 10 to 12 finalists on the stage at the Walt Disney World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. on July 8.

The three local newspapers — The Morning Journal, The Review and The Salem News — sponsor the county spelling bee each year and provide local prizes along with a possible trip to the National Spelling Bee for the winner and an adult chaperone.



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