Friday, January 24, 2014
With poise and humility, Razeen Basunia claimed the title of District Spelling Champion at the annual Dorchester District 2 Spelling Bee Wednesday at Summerville High School.
Basunia claimed the title a year after he lost the championship for not enunciating clearly enough for the judges to hear an “e” at the end of the word salve.
Basunia was demonstrably upset last year, but the judges stood by their decision.
This year, Basunia – a student at Rollings Middle School for the Arts – gave it his all with an excellent attitude and a big smile.
Coming in second was Megan Dagley of Knightsville Elementary School.
Both Dagley and Basunia stumbled on the word “opossum” and because neither spelled it correctly, both went on to a new word.
Third place was earned by Ishraq Haque of Fort Dorchester Elementary School.
There were 54 spellers vying for the title when the bee started. It went eight rounds losing approximately 15 spellers after the first round. Words like icicle, layette, innate and muumuu were either masterfully spelled or struggled with.
Round 2 quickly caused many to crash and burn when words such as fiery, ambiguity, isobar, lariat, potash and vibrato proved too much for their spellers. The second round included words with double vowels, Latin, Italian and French origin words.
The spellers breezed through words such as feldspar, ductile, fandango and gazelle but stumbled on yieldable, autobahn, hominy and boutique.
However, Fletcherism, which had many in the audience scratching their heads, didn’t slow its speller at all.
By the end of Round 3 there were 11 left and each sailed through Round 4.
Round 5 contained many foreign words used in the English language and Dutch words seemed to be the most problematic. German, Japanese, French and Italian caused few problems. In Round 6, one speller stumbled and in Round 7 words like babushka, flamenco and junta sent others off the stage.
Round 8 began with three spellers – Haque, Dagley and Basunia – who spelled their way through buccaneer and mahatma but rhinoceros defeated Haque leaving Dagley and Basunia as the top two.
The two quickly and dizzyingly spelled their way through such words as carmine, eclectic, kudzu, provolone, wanton, didactic, inane and regimen until they both stumbled on opossum. They recovered quickly again zipping through wampum, cynical, finesse, jiva, cilantro, kasha, Diablo, amicable and cringle.
However, the word parapet tripped Dagley up while Basunia spelled it correctly going on to spell bowery correctly to win the title.
Spellers were able to ask for definitions, words used in sentences and word origins.
The top nine – 9th place, Lauren Moore, FES; 8th place, Hailey Payne, OMS; 7th place, Elizabeth O’Neill, RMSA; 6th place, Sam Hobson, RMSA; 5th place, Jason Male, DMS; 4th place, Jamal Singleton, ENES; 3rd place, Ishraq Haque, FDES – will now compete in the Post & Courier sponsored Spellbound Spelling Bee representing DD2. The winner of that will win an expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to take part in the Scripps Spelling Bee.
In addition to the top nine, the following students participated:
Ayren Artz, Ethan Bacote, Koby Bardon, Damien Barron, Jordan Bingham, Emmajyn Blair, Kia Bragg, Payton Broderick, Christopher Broms, Dominique Brooks, Allyssa Brown, Emily Collins, Manuel Cora, Logan Dunn, Corey Faehrmann, Rija Gajjar, Brennan Gillgrist, Lauren Giordano, Mason Grant, Jonathan Guzman, Kris Linder, Jaidon Peynado, Mya Long, Melanie Marino, Mackenzie Martin, Raeisha McDonald, Tabitha Merrithew, Sahil Monga, Bryce Duong, Muskaan Mukkar, Velentina Olguin, Ashton Palencia, Elijah Patrick, Jenna Rehrig, Jerron Richburg, Briana Sharper, Jon Shromoff, Rebecca Simmons, Sadie Snell, Aleric Stell, Sydney Stoever, Jabbar Thiel, Adam Bunn, Travis Wurscher and Angela Yang.