LIMA — After 39 rounds and what seemed like two unbreakable spellers, Adith Joshua George won the fifth annual Lima News Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday and punched his ticket for a chance to become the nation’s top speller.
The 12-year-old from Holy Angels Catholic School in Sidney spelled Zwinglian and then Chiavetta as his second word to win the championship Saturday.
Joshua, a seventh-grader, edged out Aaron Cron, a sixth-grader at Parkway Middle School, who appeared unbreakable in a match that dazzled the audience and the judges. There were words at which the judges just shook their head, even admitting at times they had never heard of them.
The match was not without drama, however. After going nearly 30 rounds between the duo, the judges were running out of words that contestants were provided ahead of time. They decided to go off list in the middle with Joshua misspelling the word.
The judges quickly realized they gave Aaron an unfair advantage and allowed Joshua to spell another word from the list, which he did. Aaron then misspelled tetragrammaton giving Joshua a chance, which he jumped on.
Finally, there was a champion after two and a half hours. The two shook hands and congratulated each other.
Joshua was all smiles as he accepted the winner’s plaque.
“It feels great. I didn’t expect it. I’m just very happy,” he said.
He, too, never thought the bee would end as Aaron matched him word for word.
“I thought another three hours,” he said
Joshua said he studied two hours a day for the past six months preparing.
“You have to have a good knowledge of the roots. You have to be able to form words,” he said.
Joshua’s father, George Ramayya and his mother, Glory George, watched as proud parents. They were happy for their son.
The Lima News Publisher Doug Olsson said Joshua will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee that begins May 28 in Washington, D.C., for a chance at the national title. The spelling bee Saturday was sponsored by The Lima News and Superior Federal Credit Union.
There were 48 children up to age 14 competing from six local counties with the youngest in third grade.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.