Brookings spellers dominate


Editor's note: This article has been updated to include information about another local speller headed to the state competition this weekend, Anika Hooda of Camelot Intermediate School.

BROOKINGS – Three Mickelson Middle School students participated in the Northeast Regional Spelling Bee held in Watertown on Feb. 23. 

Above, eighth-graders Nathan Gemechis (center) and Mira Little Paso (right) and seventh-grader Alex Shore (left) were the top three finishers in the school spelling bee, held in early January, and qualified for the regional event. 

The regional spelling bee featured nearly 40 students from elementary and middle schools across the northeast corner of the state. Gemechis finished first, correctly spelling “acronym” to win the regional title for the second consecutive year. In a dramatic spell-off for third place, Shore came out on top, correctly spelling “bratwurst.” Little Paso finished fourth. 

Gemechis and Shore qualified to compete in the state spelling bee to be held in Vermillion on March 16. Gemechis finished second in the state spelling bee in 2018. 

Two other Brookings students competed in the Northeast Regional Spelling Bee after placing in the top three at the Camelot Intermediate School spelling bee: fifth-grader Mercedes Bowser and fourth-grader Quinn Ulvestad (not pictured).

Pictured below: Fifth-grader Anika Hooda was Camelot's first-place spelling bee winner. She went on to take second place at the regional competition in Rapid City on Feb. 9 and will be going to the state competition on March 16.


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