Local spellers battle to compete at national competition

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COLUMBIA - Students from across mid-Missouri competed to win a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. 

The 60 spellers from both middle and high schools came from Audrian, Boone, Callaway, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau and Randolph counties to compete in the event which was held at the Christian Fellowship Church in Columbia. 

Only seven of the contestants had been a part of the contest before, so there were a lot of nerves throughout the building.

"I'm excited, I don't know, I'm kind of more nervous than I am excited. I'm just nervous about what place I'm going to get," 11-year-old Suzee Crabtree said. 

Crabtree said she has confidence knowing she has supporters cheering her on during the event.

"I like seeing all the smiling faces in the crowd," she said. 

Junah Jang from Gentry Middle School won this year's event. She will represent mid-Missouri at the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 24-29.