Redemption: ‘Numismatic’ brings victory to Gilchrist after last year’s defeat

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nearly a year ago, Marissa Gilchrist’s quest for a state spelling bee championship ended last year when she was asked to spell numismatic.

After advancing to the final round of the Clark County Spelling Bee Tuesday morning, Gilchrist was up first.

“Numismatic,” said Greg Hollon, who served as pronouncer for the event.

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Gilchrist smiled slightly, spelled it correctly and took her seat. When fellow St. Agatha student Emily Preston missed “austere,” it meant Gilchrist was going back to the state contest.

“That’s why she smiled when she got it this year,” her father Kirk Gilchrist said.

Numismatic is an adjective related to coins or currency.

Marissa Gilchrist and Preston were among 19 Clark County students, from the fourth through eighth grades, who   participated in this year’s spelling bee. Each of the county schools, as well as St. Agatha and Calvary Christian schools, sent representatives for a chance to represent Clark County at the state spelling bee in Louisville in March. As runner-up, Preston will be the alternate.

“It’s a pretty big fancy deal,” coordinator Susan Hillman told the competitors about the state competition.

This year’s competition lasted for five rounds, which those who missed words leaving the stage after each round. Students were allowed to ask for a definition, the language of origin and for the word to be used in a sentence.

The first round started with words like slurp, walrus and veto, though bassinet, hayloft, rabbi and bonanza tripped up four students. Shalom, spumoni, pugilist, cantata, spelunker and altimiter claimed more in round two.

“This is round three. You should be proud of yourselves,” Hollon said.

Heresy, pursuit, synthesized, lucid, adagio, commensurate and scabbard were the downfall others in the final two rounds, leaving the final pair from St. Agatha.

“I believe this is the definition of a spell-off,” Hollon said.

A couple minutes, later It was all over.

Now Marissa Gilchrist hopes to improve on last year’s 15th place finish in the state spelling bee, which will be March 17 in Louisville.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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