A new national spelling bee champ has been crowned at the AARP National Spelling Bee held in Cheyenne last weekend. The winning speller was Michael Petrina Jr. of Alexandria, Va.
Coloradans Deborah George of Livermore and Mary DeForest of Denver were top-10 finalists.
Petrina, age 64, outspelled 45 other contestants from around the country and survived 46 rounds to take the crown. Forty-six rounds to declare a winner set a record for the bee.
Petrina’s winning word? Woad, a word used in Middle English before the 12th century.
The bee challenges Americans 50 and older to keep their minds sharp as they grow older. It is open to anyone in that age group except previous winners.
More info and a complete list of top finishers is online at www.aarp.org/spellingbee.
— Colorado News Connection