City students follow words to the letter
Thirty-eight Janesville elementary and middle school students sat in 38 folding chairs. Their shapes, sizes and outfits were wildly different, but their expressions were exactly the same as they waited for the start of the all-city spelling bee Tuesday morning.
Each sat with hands clamped between bouncing knees, toes twisting on the floor and eyes shifting back and forth somewhere above eye-level of their audience.
It felt like an E—T—E—R—N—I—T—Y before they could start.
Marshall Middle School eighth-grader Miranda Mishleau took first place in the 11th round of the annual competition. She correctly spelled "extant" and "bucolic" for the win.
Once the spellers had a chance to wave at themselves on TV and get some spelling done, nerves quickly settled.
"Panic," "chagrin," and "eternity" were three words in the competition at the Educational Services Center.
Changes to the rules changed the rhythm of the bee this year so that the traditional two-person "spell-off" came after Miranda's win. Abbigail Kraus, an Edison seventh-grader, and Kayla Scarborough, an Edison eighth-grader, went head-to-head for the second-place spot for five rounds until Kayla missed the word "impetus."
Abbigail came back with "cardiac," and it was all over.
The changes reflect changes to the state and national bee rules. Instead of spelling all the way down to first place, the last eight spellers in the competition essentially started from the beginning.
Those who spelled correctly in the last round sat down while those who misspelled got new words and fought for seventh through fourth place.
The top three spellers were surprised with their success. Miranda, a tennis player, didn't have time to practice before the bee because she was sick with a fever. She has been an alternate but has not competed in the all-city bee before, she said.
Abbigail was supposed to be an alternate this year, but Edison's seventh-grade winner chose not to compete. She and Kayla have had some stage experience. Abbigail has been a dancer since she was 2; Kayla has sung on national television.
For taking first place, Miranda won a traveling trophy, a $100 savings bond and a bike from Michael's Cycles, 2716 N. Pontiac Drive, Janesville. Abbigail won a $100 savings bond. Kayla won a $75 dollar bond.
The fourth- through seventh-place winners got $50 bonds.
Thirty-eight Janesville middle and elementary school kids participated in the annual all-city spelling bee Tuesday. The first place winner got a traveling trophy, a $100 savings bond and a bike from Michael's Cycles, 2716 N Pontiac Drive, Janesville. The second-place winner got a $100 savings bond. The third-place winner got a $75 bond. The rest of the top eight placers got $50 savings bonds.
First place: Miranda Mishleau, Marshall Middle School.
Second place: Abbigail Kraus, Edison Middle School.
Third place: Kayla Scarborough, Edison.
Fourth place: Brandon Kaltenbach, Washington Elementary School.
Fifth place: Samuel Miller, St. Paul's Lutheran School.
Sixth place: Victoria Phillips, Harrison Elementary School.
Seventh place (tie): Caleb Lobriaco, Monroe Elementary School; Joseph Schauf, St. John Vianney Parish School.