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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Pleasanton eighth-grader is county spelling bee champ

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Pleasanton Junior High eighth-grader correctly spells "probative" to clinch the title of top speller in the Linn County Spelling Bee on Thursday, Feb. 10. Aiden Patrick, center, and Aiden Stark tied for second place. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

Pleasanton Junior High School student Benson Meik won the Linn County spelling bee on Thursday, Feb. 9, outlasting three final-round challenges from eighth-grade classmate Aiden Patrick and Aiden Stark, a seventh-grader from Jayhawk-Linn Junior High School.

In the third round of the finals, Patrick stumbled on "centipede," and Stark added extra letters to "lolled." Meik correctly spelled "basaltic" in that round and went on to nail "probative" to win the county title.

Meik will represent the county in the state spelling bee at Newman University in Wichita on March 25.

About 100 people attended the spelling contest, with about half of them from the Pleasanton elementary and junior high schools. In the nosebleed section of the upper bleachers, one student held a handmade sign cheering on one of his classmates.

While some students in elementary grades tended to be eliminated during earlier rounds, one Pleasanton elementary student, Erika Martinez, kept up with older students until late in the contest.

Below are group photos of the finalists from each school that competed in the countywide contest.

Jayhawk Elementary School finalists are, from left, Tyrus Chadwick, Tryke Ranes, and Ryland Summers.

Jayhawk-Linn Junior High School finalists are Hazel Vaughn, Tanner Holt and Aiden Stark.

La Cygne Elementary School finalists are Harper Boyd, Ryder Rhynerson, and Aria Hale.

Parker Elementary School finalists are Ashlyn Blevins, Kora Stainbrook, and Justin Dumcum.

Pleasanton Elementary finalists are Erika Martinez, Levi Dir, and Brendyn Workman.

Pleasanton Junior High School finalists are Aiden Patrick, Kooper Milburn, and Benson Meik

Prairie View Middle School finalists are, from left, Blake Stevenson, Kadence Blevins, and Chylar Jones, and alternate J.W. Philpott.

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