Rockwood Middle student gets second in regional bee

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By The Staff



Andrew Edington was disappointed after he misspelled the word "accolade" at Saturday's Southern Appalachian Regional Spelling Bee. However, he wasn't disappointed in the accolade he took home. The Rockwood Middle School student was one of five spellers who finished in a tie for second-place.

"It was weird that there was a five-way tie," said Andrew, who qualified for the competition by winning the Roane County Spelling Bee last fall.

Lillie Young, an eighth-grader at Robbins Elementary School in Scott County, won the spelling bee after she correctly spelled the word "zoanthropy"(a false belief that one has become an animal. The victory qualifies her for the National Spelling Bee in Washington in May.

"I wasn't expecting it at all," Lillie said. "It's totally amazing because I figured I wouldn't know any of the words."

The spelling bee was held at the University Center on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville. The competition featured 39 participants from different school districts throughout the region, which includes parts of Virginia.

Andrew made it through the first five rounds, spelling such words as "refugee", "epiphany" and "antidote'. Phyllis Edington, Andrew's mother, said she wasn't sure how her son slipped up on the word "accolade" in the sixth round. After misspelling the word, Andrew left the stage and went to sit beside his mother in the audience.

Even though he had just missed his last word, Andrew was still alive when he left the stage because all the other spellers who made it to the sixth round, with the exception of Lillie, had also misspelled their words. She was the last one to step up to the microphone. She had to correctly spell "phoneticize" and "zoanthropy" to close out her victory. Had Lillie, 14, misspelled any one of those words, the competition would have continued.

"I was sure I was going to miss one at first and that we were going to have to do another three rounds before we finally got our winner," Lillie said.

Despite coming so close to qualifying for the National Spelling Bee, Andrew was upbeat after the competition. He said he found the entire experience rewarding.

"I studied very hard," he said. "I learned a lot of words that I had never even heard before. I'm just glad I got what I got."

Andrew, 13, said he's looking forward to returning to school on Monday, so he can let all his friends know about his regional finish.

"I think he did wonderful," his mother said.