Spelling a Champion

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A total of 96 students in grades four through eight competed Friday in the Lauderdale County Spelling Bee.

The students from both private and public schools had a practice list 36 pages long.

By the fifth round, the competition was down to 10. By the eighth round, only two students were left.

For those who didn't make it, there were no hard feelings.

"I'm just glad it's over," said Alex Kimbrell, a seventh grader who placed second. "I mean, the further you got, the more nerve racking it became."

What was the winning word, you ask? L-I-E-U-T-E-N-A-N-T. Joel Mabry, an eighth grader at West Lauderdale, got it right and will advance to the state spelling bee in Jackson on Mar. 24.