By Sarah Plummer
With Raleigh County taking home the regional Gazette-Mail Spelling Bee title eight out of the last nine years, hopes are high for county winner Nikki Zinzuwadia, a 7th grader St. Francis De Sales Catholic School, and Abby Stimson, a 7th graders at Victory Baptist Academy, as they head to the regional bee Saturday at Capital High School in Charleston.
For the two girls, studying hard up until the bee will be the key to success.
Nikki said she has been studying the county lists as well as spelling lists on the national site and reading the dictionary.
She has been focusing on word origins to help give her a leg up.
Likewise, Abby has been studying as hard she can, she said, and she is both “nervous and excited.”
“I’m just going to do my best and know that win or lose, I made it this far and it is a big honor. Regardless, I’m proud of myself,” she said.
Nikki explained, “I’m just going to stay calm and focused on the words and not focus on everyone around me.”
Both girls are filled, almost equally, with nerves and excitement.
Other area students competing in the regional bee are:
— Michael Fox and Carson Cochran, Fayette County
— Prahalath Anbu and Su Su Wai, Greenbrier County
— Cole Cochran and Hannah Justice, Mercer County
— Trinity Highlander and Mikhail Alder, Monroe County
— Caroline Smith and Macy Ward, Nicholas County
— Gabby Lupardus and Breanna Mills, Wyoming County.
The Winner of the 2013 Gazette-Mail regional Spelling Bee will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 26-June 1.
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The past nine regional spelling bee winners
2012 — Elizabeth Koh, St. Francis De Sales
2011 — Elizabeth Koh, St. Francis De Sales
2010 — Erin Mills, Shady Spring Middle
2009 — Sam Matherly, Victory Baptist Academy
2008 — Matthew Koh, St. Francis De Sales
2007 — Sam Matherly, Victory Baptist Academy
2006 — Putnam County’s Andy Wade
2005 — Yiping Wang, Beckley-Stratton Middle
2004 — Yiping Wang, Beckley-Stratton Middle