Osage County’s top two spellers are Kynlee Ard, first place (6th grade, Carbondale Attendance Center) and Lucas Gantenbein, runner-up (7th grade, Osage City).
Osage County Spelling Bee
Ard clinches bee with ‘dignify’
BURLINGAME — Carbondale Attendance Center sixth-grader Kynlee Ard spelled her way to a county bee victory at the Osage County Spelling Bee 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, hosted by Burlingame. She will represent Osage County at the Sunflower State Spelling Bee 9 a.m. March 27 at Newman University, Wichita, hosted by Kansas Press Association.
Runner up was Lucas Gantenbein, a seventh-grader from Osage City who went head to head with Kynlee two rounds before tripping up on the word “pauper.” Kynlee correctly spelled “maverick” in round 11 to move onto the championship round, where she correctly spelled “dignify.”
Earning a third place finish was Morgan Young, a sixth-grader from Lyndon.
Burlingame Jr./Sr. High Principal Tammy Baird, who served as pronouncer and bee organizer, led students through introductions and a practice round before the bee officially began. Serving as judges were Keri Welch, 7-12 English Language instructor, and Tamara Buche, Burlingame Elementary School Principal.
At the completion of round five, only three of the 10 participants had been eliminated, having missed words such as “scooter,” “hazelnut” and “calzone.” Two more spellers missed words in the sixth round, “courage” and “corral,” and another two dropped out in the seventh round with the words “receptacle” and “valiant,” leaving the final three spellers.
Morgan went out in the ninth round with the word “moxie,” while Lucas and Kynlee correctly spelled “summary” and “calibrate,” respectively. In round 10, both correctly spelled their words, “casualty” and “plague,” before Lucas missed his round 11 word.
“I didn’t practice at all, just skimmed the words,” Kynlee said of her spelling bee preparation this year, having come to the county bee as runner up at her school’s local bee. “I didn’t expect to get to the top five.” She said in order to battle her nerves, she acted like she wasn’t afraid, which proved to serve her well. Her favorite subjects in school are reading and science and she also enjoys writing stories.
Lucas said he also did not formally prepare for the county bee, having finished first at his local bee recently. “I thought of the words in my head,” he said of the technique he uses to successfully compete. Lucas was quick to answer “science” when asked about his favorite school subject.
Kynlee and Lucas were awarded champion and runner up plaques with the remaining participants being given inscribed medals, provided by The Osage County Herald-Chronicle.