Scripps runner-up wins senior spelling bee

(WBIR) A tough challenge gave some seasoned competitors a shot to show their smarts in East Tennessee Saturday.

More than 20 super-spellers took part in the National Senior Spelling Bee at the Knoxville Convention Center. It's the first time Knoxville played host to the event.

Lauren Matz took home first place this year. She's an English professor from New York and actually came in second place during the Scripps National Spelling Bee when she was younger.

David Millard came in second, and organizers said his wife actually got third place.

Contestants first had to take a written test then the real action began with the live spelling rounds. For some, it was a fun spur of the moment activity, while others studied all year for their return to a big time spelling competition.

"I had competed at the national level when I was in middle school and I just thought it could be like revisiting my past," contestant Sally Boyington said.

Organizers said the spelling bee went 12 rounds, which wasn't as long as they expected. They said it's because they picked out some pretty hard words this year.


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