A Maize South Middle School sixth-grader who last month won the Sedgwick County Spelling Bee tied for second place in Saturday’s statewide spelling contest.
Brenna Bonham, 11, outspelled 80 other Kansas elementary and middle-schoolers before missing “totipotency” in the ninth of 10 rounds, said Sunflower Spelling Bee coordinator Jan Tinkle. Brenna shares second place with Gina Mathew, a Pittsburg Community Middle School seventh-grader.
Two other Wichita students who placed in the Sedgwick County bee also participated Saturday. Independent School sixth-grader Malar Muthukumar advanced to Round 8; Harun Raffi, a Wichita Collegiate School fourth-grader, made it to Round 7.
Saturday’s champion — Basehor-Linwood Middle School sixth-grader Sterling Hollond — advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, held May 26 through June 1 in Washington, D.C. His winning word Saturday was “cetology,” the study of aquatic mammals.
The Sunflower Bee, sponsored by the Hays Daily News, was held at Fort Hays State University.