7th grade Nexus student, J.R. Lesher, has set a goal. After just missing a trip to the National Spelling Bee this year, he is aiming to get to next year’s Columbia Regional Spelling Bee and win. That win would send him to the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. The Missourian newspaper, the regional bee’s sponsor, described the last rounds between J.R. and first place winner Jiya like this:
“After 157 words, 49 spellers and 12 rounds, a Smithton Middle School student won this year’s Columbia Missourian Regional Spelling Bee.
Jiya Shetty, 13, came in second place at last year’s spelling bee. This year, she clinched victory over second-place J.R. Lesher from Chester Boren Middle School on Tuesday night.
All other participants were eliminated by Round 9 when Jiya and J.R. began a back-and-forth spelling duel. They correctly spelled words like “cathedral,” “submersible” and “nautilus.” After J.R. misspelled his Round 12 word, Jiya correctly spelled “emancipatory” to move to the championship word, “trillium.” “