Spellers rappel their way to victory

COURIER REPORTERS Eric Schaadt, left, Sara Arthurs and Jim Maurer were the team that won Read for Life's corporate spelling bee, held Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church.

COURIER REPORTERS Eric Schaadt, left, Sara Arthurs and Jim Maurer were the team that won Read for Life’s corporate spelling bee, held Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church.


It took 20 words in the sudden death round to declare a top team in Read for Life’s corporate spelling bee, held Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church.

In the end, the team from The Courier pulled away from last year’s champion, the Marathon Petroleum Corp. team, to walk away with the 2014 trophy.

The Courier/Findlay Publishing Co. previously won bees in 1992, 2008 and 2012.

In all, 14 community teams participated in the 25th annual corporate spelling bee which followed the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee format. The event is presented by LaRiche Toyota Subaru.

Members of The Courier team included staff writers Sara Arthurs, Jim Maurer and Eric Schaadt, who correctly spelled the word rappelled in sudden death competition to become the champion spellers, besting members of the Marathon team which included Brian Buckley, Dave Burget, Paula McRill, Dave Reynolds, Emily Rockwell and Macy St. Clair.

Most teams were comprised of three members, except Marathon’s, which took advantage of an option to add additional spellers, up to six on a team, for $100 each.

According to the rules of the competition, team members could decide how a word is spelled and then write it down for the judges to see. Points were awarded for each correct answer, and the team with the most points at the end of the bee was named the winner.

New this year were team passes. Reminiscent of the television quiz show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” teams could spend $25 each for three lifelines to aid them: Phone-a-Friend, which allowed the contestant to make a 30-second call to a friend for help; the chance to buy a vowel; and an alternate word.

Teams were only allowed to use each pass once during regular competition. One team used the Phone-a-Friend pass on schism, while four teams asked for an alternate word when asked to spell accoutrement, getting the word anonymity instead.

Other regular round words included imbibe, incentive, cinematic, agitation, correlation, corduroy, photogenic, malaise, sedentary and queue.

At the end of the first 12 rounds, Ball Corp., which sponsored a team comprised of Read for Life tutors Heather Crozier, Kurt Crozier and Marianne Springer, and the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library team of Nancy Bowman, Justin Crawfis and Rachel Mummert, joined The Courier and Marathon teams in the hunt for the top prize.

In the sudden death round, all four teams correctly spelled the first word, acrimonious, then the library team missed the second word, sardonically. The Courier, Marathon and Ball Corp. continued spelling imperturbable, annihilation, importunate, circadian, occipital, comedienne, imperious and mammalian.

One word, oleaginous, was missed by everyone, so all three teams continued on.

On the 12th word, Ball Corp. missed aphasia.

The Courier and Marathon teams continued to spell accustomed, dodecahedron, porosity, therapeutic, quorum, maunder and anticipatory, until Marathon tripped up on rappelled, giving the win to The Courier.

Other teams in this year’s contest included two teams from Findlay High School, which were sponsored by LaRiche Toyota Subaru; Altrusa International of Findlay; Brown Mackie College; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; First National Bank; the Friends of the Library; Kuss Filtration; Hancock County politicians Cliff Hite, Lydia Mihalik and Robert Sprague, representing McNaughton-McKay Electric Co.; and the Findlay High School Junior Statesmen of America, sponsored by Putnam Family Dental.

The spelling bee is the primary fundraiser for Read for Life (Literacy is for Everyone), an adult literacy program which provides reading instruction through trained volunteers. The organization was established in 1987 and was initially funded by the Findlay Service League. The first spelling bee was held two years later.

Pronouncer for this year’s event was Chris Oaks, host of “Good Mornings” on WFIN-AM.

Wolf: 419-427-8419
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