By Melanie Yingst
TROY — Winning the Troy City Spelling Bee wasn’t a traumatic experience for Caitlin Swallow, an eighth grader at St. Patrick Catholic School, who walked away from the annual spelling competition as the winner.
Swallow, 13, of Troy, said it was her second attempt to try to beat the city’s best spellers Thursday night.
Swallow’s winning word was “trauma” after Forest Elementary School’s fourth grader Ashton Durst misspelled “stipple.”
“It was fun just being able to spell in front of everybody,” Swallow said with her trophy in hand.
Swallow said her second attempt at the competition was easier than her first due to a slight case of nerves last year. Swallow said she enjoys studying English at St. Patrick Catholic School. The last time a St. Patrick Catholic School student won the city spelling bee was more than 20 years ago, said St. Patrick Catholic School teacher Diane Hoying.
Swallow said her parents, grandparents and siblings attended the event to support her efforts.
Durst was one of the mighty spellers and may have been one of the youngest competitors Thursday night. Durst didn’t let the judges second guess each letter he loudly pronounced in the microphone for all to hear at the Troy High School auditorium.
The 9 year old said it was a “really cool” experience for him to represent Forest Elementary School at the city spelling bee. It was his first time competing in the spelling bee.
“I practiced with my mom and every time I missed a word, I’d do it over again,” said Durst of his preparation for the event. “I wanted to win because I tried really hard and practiced a lot at home.”
Durst had a large crowd of supporters who stood at the stage front waiting to celebrate his efforts as runner-up. Durst’s fourth grade homeroom teacher is Kasey Binne and his favorite subjects at Forest Elementary are math and language arts.
Mayor Michael Beamish commended all the participants and their families for their efforts to get to the district round of the spelling bee.
“That was a competition,” Beamish said of the multiple rounds before Swallow was named the winner.
Swallow will represent the city of Troy and its schools at the regional spelling bee on Feb. 22 at Sinclair Community College.
The following students won their schools’ respective spelling bees to compete in the city spelling bee Thursday: Lara Meersschaert, Concord Elementary; Landen Kimble, Cookson Elementary; Tristan Peterson, Heywood Elementary; Josh Brubaker, Hook Elementary; Thomas Begley, Kyle Elementary; Decker Jackson, Miami Montessori; Marisa Williams, Troy Christian Elementary; Judah Osborne, Troy Christian Junior High; Liz Pedler, Troy Junior High School; and Nicklas Truong, Van Cleve Sixth Grade.
Melanie Yingst can be reached at (937) 440-5254 or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews