Many fresh faces to compete at bee
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
It will be an almost entirely different look at this year's Ellis County Spelling Bee, set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union Ballroom.
Only four spellers from last year's competition will return, but several other qualifiers from other years past are back.
Three schools will be additions to the 2013 list, one for the first time ever.
Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior High School, in its first year of existence, will send four spellers to the bee, while Victoria's elementary and junior high schools are back this year after a five-year absence.
This year's winner will receive a traveling trophy for his or her school, among other prizes, and the right to advance to the next level. And he or she won't have far to travel.
The 2013 Sunflower Spelling Bee is set for March 2, also at FHSU -- in Sheridan Hall's Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.
The top returnees are three fifth-graders -- Tyson Dinkel, Wilson Elementary's champion, and Andi Rogowski and Brady Rohr, Roosevelt Elementary's top two finishers who both will be making their third trip to the county finals.
The other returnee from last year is fourth-grader Andrew Duke from O'Loughlin, who qualified last year as a third-grader, then won his school's bee this year.
Other returnees from years past will be Hays Middle School sixth-grader Quinn Martens-Bobbitt, a two-time qualifier, in 2010 and '11 as a Washington Elementary School student in Hays, and Kimmy Lopez, a Washington fifth-grader who qualified two years ago as a third-grader.
As is the case in years past, there will be a pair of siblings competing as fifth-grader Dylan Ruder and his younger sister, third-grader Aleyia, both qualified from Roosevelt behind Rogowski and Rohr.
The youngest participant will be Trinity Quint, a second-grader from Lincoln Elementary in Hays.
Qualifiers for Thursday's 2013 Ellis County Spelling Bee, listed with their school and grade, are:
* Hays Middle -- Sally Lushbough, eighth; Lacey Gregory, seventh; Quinn Martens-Bobbitt, sixth; Joslyn Dinkel, eighth. Alternate: Alliana Drees, seventh.
* Lincoln Elementary, Hays -- Sean Gillock, fourth; Trinity Quint, second; Abigail Thornton, third; Callen Rumbaugh, fifth. Alternate: None.
* O'Loughlin Elementary, Hays -- Andrew Duke, fourth; Zoe Buffington, fifth; Megan Flavin, fifth; Sheena Zeng, fourth. Alternates: Madelyn Martin, third; Dustin Rajewski, third.
* Roosevelt Elementary, Hays -- Andi Rogowski, fifth; Brady Rohr, fifth; Dylan Ruder, fifth; Aleyia Ruder, third. Alternate: Madelyn Waddell, fifth.
* St. Mary Grade, Ellis -- Will Graves, third; Cassie Waldschmidt, sixth; Daniel Eck, fourth; Konnor Pfeifer, fourth. Alternate: Eryn Boss, first.
* TMP Jr. High, Hays -- Trevor Pfeifer, eighth; Jodi Veach, eighth; Cameron Werth, seventh; Taryn Rupp, eighth. Alternate: Madyson Koerner, eighth.
* Victoria Elementary -- Dallas Nowlin, fifth; Kiley Phlieger, fifth. Alternate: None.
* Victoria Junior High -- Siara Burr, seventh; Isaac Housley, eighth. Alternate: None.
* Washington Elementary, Ellis -- Natalie Schoenberger, seventh; Spencer Fuller, eighth; Blakely Bittel, seventh; Cole Swenson, seventh. Alternate: Samantha Crawford, seventh.
* Washington Elementary, Hays -- Nic Park, fourth; Kimmy Lopez, fifth; Delilah Herrera, fifth; Elizabeth Jones, third. Alternate: Aaliyah Garcia, second.
* Wilson Elementary, Hays -- Tyson Dinkel, fifth; Sage Goering, fifth; Addison Speier, fifth; Skylar Zimmerman, fourth. Alternate: Sofia Palmer, fourth.