Spelling bee champ maintains dominance



February 11, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Clara Wicoff continued her romp through local spelling history Friday.
The Iola Middle School eighth-grader took home her fifth consecutive – and final – Allen County spelling crown, besting 23 other candidates.
Wicoff outlasted classmate Judd Wiltse in the championship round.
Wiltse was eliminated with “philosophize,” inserting an “i” where the second “o” should have been.
Wicoff, in much the same manner she used to win the four previous county titles, would ask for alternate pronunciations, languages of origin and to have the word used in a sentence.
She was declared the winner by correctly spelling “carnage” and “dilemma.”
Sixteen of the 24 competitors were eliminated in the first round, while four others were knocked out in round two.
The field of four was pared to the final two when Kyle Doolittle of Humboldt (correspondence) and Lincoln Elementary School’s Hannah St. Clair (hospice) were eliminated.
Wicoff, daughter of Iolans Joel and Lisa Wicoff, advances to the Kansas State Spelling Bee in March. Her spelling reign ends after this year.

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