MARIETTA - Eighth-grader Iram Kingson, 13, of Williamstown High School, had to go through 28 rounds before she was declared the winner Friday night of the 33rd annual Marietta Times Regional Spelling Bee.
She was required to spell her final two words correct to be declared the winner of the spelling bee.
She calmly spelled capacious before second place finisher Peyton Hall, 13, a student at Sardis Elementary, misspelled condescension and opened the door for Kingson to win.
Iram Kingson, 13, of Williamstown High School was announced the winner of the 33rd annual Marietta Times Regional Spelling Bee Friday night in the Marietta High School auditorium. Kingson will be representing the region at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., from May 26 through June 1. (Photo by Christian Hudspeth)
Kingson's final word was imperceptible, which Merriam-Webster defines as "not perceptible by a sense or by the mind: extremely slight, gradual, or subtle."
The battle between the two was even more impressive because the last four rounds were challenge words, which none of the students had been given a study sheet for.
"After they told me that the words were on a separate list that we hadn't studied, I was very proud of myself," said Kingson. "I was very nervous at the end because I wasn't certain on any of the words we were getting."
Hall agreed, saying there were several words that were troublesome.
"I was unsure if mozzarella had an "o" or and "a" at the beginning of it," he said. "There were some others that were iffy but most I was pretty confident."
By placing first in the event Kingson earned an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee from May 26 to June 1.
This isn't her first success in the regional bee, however. She was the second-place winner last year and won the event two years ago.
"I really enjoyed my experience in Washington, D.C., two years ago. I'm excited to go back," said Kingson. "The competition is really tough there, but I like my chances to advance this year."
Her mother, Shahnaz Kingson, said she was extremely proud of her daughter and that there is much to decide before the national competition.
"We have a lot of planning to do before the trip," she said. "We will have to see who goes with her this year."
This was the final year of eligibility for Kingson, but Hall will still be able to compete next year.
The future looks bright for Hall, who finished fifth last year and sixth two years earlier as an alternate.
"I will be coming back next year for sure," he said.
A total of 49 students from 24 schools in Washington, Monroe, Noble, Pleasants and Wood counties competed in the bee.
All of the participants in this event had already competed and won on either a local or district level to qualify for this event.