After advancing through school and regional competitions, 14 spellers competed for a chance to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee hosted in Washington, D.C. May 26-31. Spellers competed through the 33-round spelldown of 193 words with the championship word being “lair.”
The second-place finisher was Nathan Gemechis of Brookings. Tyler Want of Pierre won third place.

The Scripps Spelling Bee has been sponsored by USD since 2012. A complete list of competitors is below.

  • Violet Grimshaw of Rapid City
  • Carter Hoxsie of Brandon
  • Rishi Koodali of Vermillion
  • Anika Hooda of Brookings
  • Aiden Ferens of Highmore
  • Brendan Lindsey of North Sioux City
  • David Reppe of Clear Lake
  • Marlena Olson of Sioux Falls
  • Alex Shore of Brookings
  • Arthur Tao of Sioux Falls
  • Carson Weiner of Sioux Falls
  • Josie McCord of Kimball
  • Nathan Gemechis of Brookings
  • Tyler Want of Pierre

Scripps Bee sponsor Merriam-Webster, the publisher of the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, provides the eleventh edition of America’s best-selling dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, as a prize to the champion. The dictionary defines the current, active vocabulary of American English and is updated on an ongoing basis. It includes more than 225,000 definitions, over 42,000 usage examples, special sections on foreign words and phrases, biographical names, geographical names and more. This is the dictionary from which Scripps prepares its spelling word lists and is a tremendous resource and study guide for spelling bee contestants.

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