Dreibelbis is spelling bee winner

CULVER — Twenty-seven students in all from across the county earned the privilege of competing at the 30th Marshall County Spelling Bee, though in the end St. Michael Catholic School seventh grader Kendall Dreibelbis finally edged out Riverside Elementary sixth grader Autumn Wilson after a lengthy elimination battle between the girls, to take first place. Argos eighth grader Cody Detwiler came in third, just beating out Culver Communtiy seventh grader Brianna Kinyanjui, who was eliminated by the word, “myriad.”
This was Detwiler’s third qualification for the county-wide contest, and his second year in a row taking third place.
Switching to Culver Community High School this year after years of being hosted at Argos, the contest was judged Monday evening by Culver teachers Todd Shafer and Julie Kitchell, and students were prompted by announcer Valerie Cultice, also of Culver.
Spelling bee contestants went 37 rounds in all, with nine students eliminated in the first round of full play, four more in the second, and eight more through the seventh. Dreibelbis, Wilson, Detwiler, and Kinyanjuiduked it out for several rounds, with Dreibelbis and Wilson going back and forth for elimination over 17 more words. At the close, “calisthenics,” “curvature,” and “embroidery” made for tough work, with Dreibelbis spelling the last word correctly and clinching her victory with the word, “judicial.”
In addition to the aforementioned contestants, other qualifiers competing included fifth graders Victoria Anderson (Walkerton), Charles Celadina (St. Michael), Hollie DeWulf (Argos), Sarah Luttrell (Culver), Reynaldo Tijerina (LaVille), Abby Ukinski (Bremen), Samantha Zechiel (Riverside), Brooks Feldman (St. Paul’s Lutheran); sixth graders Jake Anders (LaVille), Dakota Bailey (Walkerton), Pierce Ellert (Culver), Audrey Himes (St Michael’s), Araceli Jiminez (Bremen), Tori Obrochta (Argos), David Hochstetler (St. Paul’s Lutheran); seventh graders Courtney Dunlap (Argos), Anna Dennie (Urey), Ellen Fox (St. Paul’s Lutheran); eighth graders Dana Gumm (Urey), Kenneth VanDePutte (Culver), and Lucas Vervynckt (Argos).
The event coordinator was Raeanne Stevens, Culver.