MISSOULA — The area’s best spellers faced off Thursday afternoon at the 2020 Missoula county Orthography bee --- or more simply, ‘the spelling bee”
Fifty fifth through eight grade students representing schools from around the Missoula Valley took the stage to "deconstruct" the words they were randomly assigned.
It took 15 rounds to crown a winner. In the end, it was eighth grade student Sheldon Tosh from Washington Middle School who won by correctly spelling the words 'Oligarchy' and 'Rhubarb'.
Then came the spell-off between Jackson Stiehl and Michael Lindsay for second and third place. Eigth grade student Jackson from Washington spelled 'Ascension' and 'monocle' to win second place. Eighth grade student Michael Lindsay from Meadow Hill Middle School in Missoula came in third and will join the other two at the state spelling bee in Bozeman March 14.
Among other candidates winning high ranks were fifth grade student Greg Whiting from Target Range, fifth grade student Cash Olson from Frenchtown, seventh grade student Anna Kate Sawfer from Clinton, seventh grade student Laurel Krause from Frenchtown, and eighth grade student Ohani Porter from Frenchtown.
Thursday's event also placed several alternates who will be ready to compete if called upon.
Last year, the National Bee made history last year when there was an eight way tie for first place. The event -- which has been around since 1925 -- is scheduled for the end of May.
MTN is a proud sponsor of this year’s Montana Scripps spelling bee.