The Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative’s regional spelling bee was held Feb. 4 at the Redwood Area Community Center in Redwood Falls. Thirty-two students from 27 school districts, who won at their local level, came together to compete for the top four places that advance to the multi-region state spelling bee.

Scores from the written and oral rounds were combined in order to determine the top 15 students who compete in the afternoon spelldown. Due to tied scores, there were 16 spellers, who competed in the spelldown. 

Lydian Talsma from Edgerton and Toni Pritchard from Ortonville battled it out for fourth and fifth place, with Karsten Springborg from Holy Redeemer taking third place.

Gracie Crooks from ACGC and Reese Magnuson from Glencoe-Silver Lake buzzed a few more rounds until a first-place winner was declared. After 11 rounds, the top four students who will advance to the multi-region state spelling bee Feb. 18 in Fergus Falls were declared.

The winner from the state bee will then go on to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

• First place: Reese Magnuson, Glencoe-Silver Lake School

• Second place: Gracie Crooks, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School

• Third Place: Karsten Springborg, Holy Redeemer Catholic - Marshall

• Fourth Place: Lydia Talsma, Edgerton Christian Elementary

• Fifth place alternate: Toni Pritchard, Ortonville Elementary

Schools in the 18-county service areas were invited to participate in this academic enrichment activity sponsored by the service cooperative.

The multi-region state spelling Bee is sponsored by the following Minnesota service cooperatives: Lakes Country Service Cooperative, Northeast Service Cooperative, Northwest Service Cooperative, Resource Training & Solutions and the SWWC Service Cooperative.

A number of area students also competed in the regional spelling bee.

They include:

• Ming Lin of Redwood Valley Middle School, who tied for eighth place following the written and oral spelling rounds

• Cora Gullickson of the Echo Charter School who placed 13th following the oral and written rounds

• Braylon Hinderks of Renville County West who placed 11th following the oral and written rounds

• Ava Juhnke of Red Rock Central who tied for eighth place after qualifying for the final spelldown

• Rachel Schumacher of Cedar Mountain who tied for eighth place after qualifying for the spelldown

• Russell Beers of Springfield who tied for eighth place after qualifying for the spelldown

• Shayna Huhnerkoch of Wabasso who placed ninth after qualifying for the final spelldown