With her correct spelling of "porridge," Otte Blair Middle School (OBMS) eighth-grader Jacinta Flynn sealed her third title at the Washington County Spelling Bee on Wednesday morning.
Flynn was co-champion at last year's spelling bee and also won as a fifth-grader in 2017. Flynn will compete at the 2020 Omaha World-Herald Midwest Spelling Bee on March 28.
"I didn't expect it," Flynn said. "We just got our list last week, so we did not have very much time to study."
Magdalena Niziolek, Flynn's mother, said it was fun watching her daughter spell.
"I enjoy watching everything she's involved in," Niziolek said, adding she helps Flynn study by making jokes during the harder words.
"It makes remembering the words easier," Flynn said.
Fifteen students from Blair Community Schools, Arlington Public Schools, Fort Calhoun Community Schools and St. Paul's Lutheran School competed at the 28-round spelling bee after qualifying at their school competitions. The last nine rounds Flynn traded correct spellings of words like "conductor" and "flabbergast" with fellow OBMS student and seventh-grader Kember Huber.
Others participating in the spelling bee were:
Arlington Public Schools — Emily Marcucci, eighth grade; Corinne Grosland, sixth grade; and Connor Flesner, eighth grade.
Blair Community Schools — Laynie Brown, fifth grade, and Carter Ross, fifth grade.
Fort Calhoun Community Schools — Frances Holmstedt, eighth grade; Adriana Hernandez, eighth grade; Aiden Tinkham, fifth grade; and Taylor Douchey, sixth grade.
St. Paul's Lutheran School — Tyler Ott, eight grade; Katie Douglas, sixth grade; Gwen Von Behren, sixth grade; and Isaac Cornett, fifth grade.