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Eighth-grader who doesn't like spelling bees, wins Brainerd bee

BAXTER - Forestview Middle School eighth-grader Abe Albrecht - who said "I really didn't want to be here ... I don't like spelling bees" - outspelled 14 other students to win the Brainerd spelling bee Wednesday while on stage in the cafetorium at...

Forestview Middle School eighth-grader Abe Albrecht ponders a word before winning the Brainerd District Spelling Bee Wednesday at Forestview. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls gallery and video
Forestview Middle School eighth-grader Abe Albrecht ponders a word before winning the Brainerd District Spelling Bee Wednesday at Forestview. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls gallery and video

BAXTER - Forestview Middle School eighth-grader Abe Albrecht - who said "I really didn't want to be here ... I don't like spelling bees" - outspelled 14 other students to win the Brainerd spelling bee Wednesday while on stage in the cafetorium at Forestview.

Abe, the son of Dewey Albrecht and Audra Lind, strolled through eight rounds with all the competing students and then six tie-breaking rounds with eighth-grader Adrian Olson, the son of Chris and Jennifer Olson, for the win. Abe and Adrian were the only students who spelled all their words correctly in the first eight rounds to compete in the spelldown.

Abe, Adrian and five students qualified to advance to the regional spelling bee, The Lakes Bee. Students also advancing are eighth-graders Alex Bauer, Renzen Caughey, Tyler Peterson and Maddie Schuld and seventh-grader Ammy Lin.

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View a 210 image KLICK! Photo Gallery from this event - Klick Here!

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The regional bee will be held March 18 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. The Lakes Bee, sponsored by the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), is a regional bee where students in grades fourth through eighth in Crow Wing, Morrison, Wadena, Todd and Cass counties compete for a chance to advance to the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee in May in Washington, D.C.

Brainerd students in grades sixth through eighth are the only ones who can compete in the Brainerd School District bee. Written tests are given to all the students in sixth through eighth grade that consists of around 1,500 students. Then the top 15 students with the highest score qualify for the oral district bee. Then the top seven from the district bee advance to the regional bee, where then only one student will advance to nationals.

In the spelldown, Abe and Adrian went three rounds at a time to come up with a champion. The two went through two - three spelldown rounds - until a champion came out on top.

Abe and Adrian, who both have never qualified for the oral school district spelling bee, spelled all three of their words incorrectly in the first three rounds (Round 9, 10, 11.) Then in Round 12 and 13, Abe spelled his words, "kimono" and "cryonics" correctly. Adrian spelled "flagellatory" incorrectly in Round 12 and spelled "apocalypse" correctly in Round 13.

It could have been anyone's win going into Round 14. If Abe spelled his next word incorrectly and Adrian got his word right there would have been another three rounds.

Abe had to spell "totalitarian," of or relating to centralized control by an autocratic leader or hierarchy, correctly for the win. He misspelled it. This gave Adrian a chance to tie it up again. His word was "somnipathy," an abnormal or disordered sleep. Adrian was unable to spell it, ending the spelling bee.

The eighth-graders said they were nervous and scared going into the spelldown. Both students didn't think they would get as far as they did, winning and taking second place. Adrian, who studied for the spelling bee, said he was expecting more difficult words in the spelling bee. He said he knew most of the words. Abe said he didn't study for the spelling bee.

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"I really didn't want to be here," Abe said. "I don't like spelling bees."

Jennifer Rushin, the Forestview spelling bee coordinator, said there are students who will purposely spell words incorrectly in the written test because they don't want to compete in the oral round, as they get too nervous or scared.

Rushin said all 15 students did a great job in the spelling bee. Forestview Principal Jon Anderson congratulated all the students on their accomplishments in the bee. The other students who competed in the oral bee were eighth-graders Grace Erholtz, Jimmy Lin and Noah Rook; seventh-graders Sean Paulus and Teddy Wadsten; and sixth-graders Chloe Hendrickson, Noah Joque and Jay Truex.

The pronouncer of the bee was Kathy Tusa; judges were Brenda Johnson, Paula Mangan and Karen Ogdahl.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl .

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