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10-year-old wins back-to-back Scripps Regional Spelling Bees

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A familiar face won this year’s Scripps Regional Spelling Bee Finals at General Brown High School on Thursday night.

Last year’s winner Micah R. Sterling, a fifth grader from General Brown, was the top speller for the second consecutive year.

The spelling bee went for 18 rounds, including a few rounds going back and forth with second-place winner Avery G. Ringuette from Indian River Central School District.

“I’m back,” Micah, 10, said after coming in first place in back-to-back years.

There were two times in the final rounds where judges had to check the tape in order to make sure Micah spelled the word “transposable” correctly. The judges ruled he spelled it correctly.

He said he “was bored and nervous” while sitting on the stage waiting to hear if he was correct.

The winning word for Micah was “punily,” which Merriam-Webster defines as being “slight or inferior in power, size, or importance; weak.”

“I knew it instantly,” he said.

As part of winning, Micah received a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged, courtesy of Merriam-Webster Inc.; The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, 2023 U.S. Mint Proof Set, courtesy of Mr. Jay Sugarman; Britannica Online Premium one-year subscription courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica; Watertown Daily Times newspaper digital access for the remainder of the school year; and he gets to advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. with travel expenses courtesy of the winning school district, the Watertown Daily Times and Jreck Subs.

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