MOUNT VERNON — Does anyone know what a mugwump is? That was one of the words spelled correctly Thursday during the 2014 Knox County Spelling Bee, but it left the spectators curious as to what it means.
Intrepid spellers from all the area schools also successfully fielded words such as disarray, genetic, gorgon and duplicity through 11 rounds of competition, and in the end, Fredericktown’s Katie Cobb, grade eight, was the last one standing while sixth-grader Terry Fearn, also from Fredericktown, was the runner-up.
The match, held in Mount Vernon Middle School, began with a practice round.
Four of the 16 contestants went down in Round 1. One misspelled “premium” in Round 2, and 11 advanced to Round 3. Another pair erred in Round 3, leaving nine contenders to advance to Round 4. Five spellers were eliminated in Round 4, and four orthographers breezed through Rounds 5, 6 and 7. One word was missed in round 8 and three spellers advanced to Round 9. Round 10 was a face off between Katie and Terry, and Katie was the only competitor for Round 11, which she won by correctly spelling “nigh.”
Champion Katie, whose favorite subject is language arts, said she studied word lists a little bit almost every day since she won the Fredericktown eighth-grade spelling bee in December. She said she “kind of went over words in school,” and a friend and her parents would pronounce words for her.
Terry’s parents are very proud of his achievement. His mother helped him review words, the social studies aficionado said, and the most difficult word of all is “lanai,” which stumped him in Round 10.
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