Skip to main content

Brookings 8th grader wins USD South Dakota Scripps Spelling Bee

VERMILLION, S.D. -- With the correct spelling of “reprehensible,” eighth grade student Antonio Lansang of Brookings, S.D. won the oral competition of the University of South Dakota Scripps Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 22.

Lansang, who qualified after participating in the Sioux Falls Regional Scripps Spelling Bee earlier this winter, outlasted eighth grader Adele Benoit of Yankton and his sister, Angela Lansang, a sixth grader from George S. Mickelson Middle School, after 30 rounds of the oral competition. His parents are Zoilo and Agnes Lansang of Brookings.

Benoit, from Sacred Heart Middle School, was the runner-up and Angela Lansang finished in third place. Antonio Lansang, also a George S. Mickelson Middle Schooler, advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 25-30. In addition to transportation and accommodations for himself and one parent to participate in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., he received a Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, donated by Merriam-Webster. Fifteen students from five South Dakota regions (Rapid City, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Vermillion and Castlewood) participated in the state spelling bee, including

Antonio Lansang also finished first in the written test of the South Dakota State Spelling Bee, which was at Farber Hall inside Old Main on the USD campus. Kevin Baltzer, an eighth grade student at Huron Middle School, was second in the written competition while Benoit was third. Additional participants included Nana Addo of Dakota Dunes (Dakota Valley Middle School), Carolyn Blaha of Dante (Wagner Community School), Gabe Fendrich of Sioux Falls (Edison Middle School), Jordan Holthe of Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls Christian), Kadarkara Harshavardhan of Vermillion (Jolley Elementary School), Veronica Knippling of Gann Valley (Highmore-Harrold Elementary), Noah Krull of Sturgis (Sturgis Elementary), Marilyn Larsen of Rosholt (Rosholt School), Ryan Light of Sturgis (Sturgis Elementary), Jace Oesterling of Custer (South Dakota Christian Home Education of Rapid City) and Lana Tintor of Sioux Falls (Whittier Middle School). A photo of Lansang is available for download at

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is administered on a not-for-profit basis by the E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. The competition is open for students in first grade through the eighth grade.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News