Rauschenberger, South Prairie seventh-grader wins spelling bee

Andrea Johnson/MDN Annaliese Rauschenberger, a seventh-grader at South Prairie, spells the winning word at the Ward County Spelling Bee on Wednesday.

Her third year competing at the Ward County Spelling Bee was the charm for South Prairie seventh-grader Annaliese Rauschenberger, who was named the overall champ after a grueling oral round.

The runner-up was Anastasia Schonauer, a seventh-grader at Jim Hill Middle School, who will join Annaliese in competing at the North Dakota State Spelling Bee March 26 in Bismarck.

Twenty-one fifth- through eighth-graders, the top spellers on a written exam given in the morning, competed in the oral round. Each took their turn at the microphone and spelled ever trickier words in front of an audience of students and parents.

Lovely Magpali, a seventh-grader at Nedrose, correctly spelled the relatively simple word “gorgeous” in the first round but she fell on “isobar,” a scientific term, in the third round.

“This is easy!” said exuberant South Prairie fifth-grader Katie Leiss, as she spelled “geode,” a word referring to a rock with a cavity lined with crystals or other minerals, in the first round.

But the word “imperative” – meaning something of vital importance – felled her in the second round. “I forgot an i!” she told the audience.

“Oh, my god!” a student in the audience said when they heard the word given to Jim Hill Middle School sixth-grader Arwa Alakech to spell in the fifth round: “illuminati.” Arwa was also tripped up by the tough word, which refers to a secret society of people who claim special knowledge.

“Kabuki,” a type of Japanese theater, defeated South Prairie eighth-grader Nicholas Snickers in the sixth round.

Similar sounding words felled other spellers. Alex Grubaugh, a sixth-grader at Surrey, confidently spelled “ruby,” only to be told that the word he should have spelled was “rupee,” the official currency of India and some other countries.

Annaliese said the toughest word she was given to spell was “Flemish,” as in the dialect spoken in Flanders. She thought the word might have a “c” in it.

Anastasia said the hardest word she was given to spell was “geta,” or traditional Japanese footwear.

Both Annaliese and Anastasia said they plan to study the list of spelling words that competitors are given before the state spelling bee.

Winners in the written round for the city of Minot follow.

Eighth grade: Nadya Salloum, Memorial Middle School, first place; Skylar Holte, Erik Ramstad Middle School, second place; seventh grade: Aubree Mueller, Ramstad, first place; Anastasia Schonauer, Jim Hill Middle School, second place; sixth grade: Arwa Alakech, Jim Hill Middle School, first place; Isabella Veckert, Ramstad, second place; fifth grade: Bolutife Omole, John Hoeven Elementary, first place; Seth Ericsson, McKinley Elementary, second place.

Winners in the written round for county schools follow.

Eighth grade: Natalie Helfrich, Lewis and Clark-Berthold, first place; Chris Jenner, Surrey, second place; seventh grade: Annaliese Rauschenberger, South Prairie, first place; Abbey Kohler, Kenmare, second place; sixth grade: Alex Grubaugh, Surrey, first place; Iver Christensen, Burlington-Des Lacs, second place; fifth grade: Brea Chrest, Kenmare, first place; Morgan Andersen, Surrey, second place.

Oral round qualifiers: Arwa Alakech, sixth grade, Jim Hill; Evelyn Byrne, eighth grade, Ramstad; Lane Evanson, eighth grade, Lewis and Clark-Berthold; Isaac Flanagan, eighth grade, Nedrose; Alex Grubaugh, sixth grade, Surrey; Natalie Helfrich, eighth grade, Berthold; Kalen Hill, eighth grade, Jim Hill; Skylar Holte, eighth grade, Ramstad; Chris Jenner, eighth grade, Surrey; Abbey Kohler, seventh grade, Kenmare; Katie Leiss, fifth grade, South Prairie; Lovely Magpali, seventh grade, Nedrose; Aubree Mueller, seventh grade, Ramstad; Caroline Nunn, eighth grade, Memorial; Bolutife Omole, fifth grade, Hoeven; Althea Paneles, seventh grade, Jim Hill, Annaliese Rauschenberger, seventh grade, South Prairie; Nadya Salloum, eighth grade, Memorial; Anastasia Schonauer, seventh grade, Jim Hill; Nicholas Snickers, eighth grade, South Prairie; Isabella Veckert, sixth grade, Ramstad.