Eden Vasquez was very nervous about the Beaumont Unified School District spelling bee last Friday morning.
The fourth-grader from Sundance Elementary School ate breakfast while she studied the words, but she still was not sure if she was going to make it to the end of the spelling bee.
“I was nervous because I did not know if I would remember all of the words under pressure,” said Eden, 10.
The Sundance student need not have worried because she lasted through the three-hour bee and won first place by correctly spelling “fallacy.”
Eden now advances to the county spelling bee March 24 at the Moreno Valley Conference Center. The event starts at 9 a.m.
Beaumont’s spelling bee had 27 students.
Eden said this was her first time in the school district spelling bee. Last year, she placed fifth in Sundance’s spelling bee.
Eden’s support group was her parents Mike and Brittany and her grandmother, Ines.
The school spelling bee was held in December.
There were several words that sort of stumped Eden. One was “buffoonery,” and the other was “exploits.”
When it came down to Eden and fellow contestant Allie Bacon of Mountain View Middle School, the round did not last long.
Allie misspelled fallacy, leaving it open for Eden to win. And she did.
Allie, 13, was not upset about placing second.
In sixth-grade, she was in ninth place. In seventh-grade, she placed 21.
This year, the spelling bee was special because her 10-year-old twin brothers Jack and Ace were in it. Jack was an alternate, but Ace was in the competition.
Even though she placed second, Allie said she could have done better. “I definitely didn’t practice as much as I should,’’ she said.
Her defining moment came early. “I’ve never made it past round two,” she said.
Allie’s parents Keith and Jessica were in the audience ,and so was her grandmother, Janet.
She may have lost on the word fallacy, but it was the word “duopoly” that confused her.
Winning second place was meaningful to Allie. “I was just hoping to get a ribbon,” she said.
Matthew Sontoski, 10, came in third place. This was his first time in the district spelling bee.
The fifth-grader from Three Rings Ranch Elementary School said he was nervous for the initial part of the spelling bee.
“After the first five rounds, I was fine,” Matthew said.
Toward the end, it was Matthew, Allie and Eden.
Matthew said the word that threw him was: skedaddle.
He put an extra “d” in sked and he was eliminated from the competition.
But Matthew is looking to the future. His sister Savannah won the district spelling bee in 2019.
She also placed third during fifth-grade in the district spelling bee.
Matthew is hoping her good luck rubs off on him in three years.
Staff writer Julie Farren may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (951) 849-4586, ext. 119.