- Associated Press - Monday, March 21, 2016

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A local middle schooler is the second child in his family to finish in first place in the Grand Traverse Regional Spelling Bee.

Casey Donahue, a seventh-grader at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Traverse City, was among 30 of the region’s best spellers to battle it out through more than a dozen rounds at the State Theatre on Sunday, The Traverse City Record-Eagle (https://bit.ly/1RuIYHH ) reported. He correctly spelled “bellicose” and “croquette” to finalize his victory.

Although Casey was initially nervous, he said nothing caught him by surprise and he felt good about the win.

His brother, Charlie, won the Grand Traverse Regional Spelling Bee in 2013.

“I can’t describe how proud I am of him,” Charlie said. “It’s just phenomenal how much work he’s put in and how dedicated he is to it.”



Luke Krcmarik, an eighth-grader at St. Elizabeth, placed second Sunday after he misspelled “taupe” in the final round. He said he was pleased with his performance, especially because he didn’t expect to make it so far.

“I just studied a lot and crammed a lot at the last second,” Krcmarik said. “When I got all the words read I skimmed over the ones I had trouble with and pronounced them out loud.”

Casey was awarded an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., in May to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Krcmarik and Audrey Thompson, who placed third, received medals. The other participants got certificates.

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Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, https://www.record-eagle.com

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