By David Fong
Regional Sports Content Manager
TROY — As the 20th annual Troy Altrusa “Bee For Literacy, A Corporate Challenge” wound down Thursday at the Church of the Nazarene in Troy, it was hard to tell which was going to give out first — the spellers themselves or the words they had to spell.
In a spelling bee that ran longer and went deeper into the list of competition words than any other bee in recent memory, the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center team of Nancy Fulker, Cam Armstrong and Terri Boehringer was able to outlast the other six teams and bring home the coveted traveling trophy.
“It was nip-and-tuck the entire way,” Fulker said.
Proceeds from the event go to benefit the myriad literacy programs sponsored by Troy Altrusa.
Edison Community College, sponsored by Edison Community College (Scott Burnam, Kara Myers and Teresa Roth) and United Technologies Aerospace Systems, sponsored by United Technologies Aerospace Systems (Pat Keaty, Jennifer Dyer and Stacey Kinnison) finished in a tie for second place.
Teen Leadership Troy, sponsored by Unity Bank (Annie Denlinger, Noelle Culp and Jake Henson) and Miami County Educational Services Center, sponsored by U.S. Bank and UVMC/Premier Health (Bethany Green, Myrna Yoder and Vern Witt) finished in a tie for fourth place.
Troy High School Interact Club, sponsored by Troy Rotary (Nick Kleptz, Alex Dalton and John Frigge) finished in sixth place. Troy-Miami County Public Library, sponsored by Kerber Sheet Metal (Deb Matthews, Andrea Wackler and Teri Curtis) finished in seventh.
Miami County ESC won the coveted spirit award.
Nearly all of the teams made it through the first several rounds, which featured words contestants had been given beforehand. Once the teams made it to the bonus round — featuring words the contestants had not been given beforehand — the remainder of the teams continued to battle, using up nearly all of the words on that list before Hayner Cultural Center emerged victorious.
“We knew all of the words on the first list — but once we got to the second list, it was a lot harder,” Armstrong said.
After Edison Community College and United Technologies Aerospace Systems missed the word “peripatetic,” Hayner Cultural Center was able to spell it successfully, meaning the team needed to spell one final word to wrap up the championship.
Hayner Cultural Center successfully spelled “gravitas” to bring home the trophy.
“It’s was a team effort,” Boehringer said.
Contact David Fong at (937) 440-5228 or firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong