MONROE – Eva Vega spelled “tour de force” correctly to win the Union County Public Schools Spelling Bee on Jan. 30 at Central Academy of Technology and Arts.
This year’s bee clocked in at nearly five hours, breaking the record for longest in UCPS history. The bee consisted of 40 winners from school competitions, spelling words like peloton, panglossian and eiderdown.
Eva, an eighth-grader at Marvin Ridge Middle, spelled “tour de force” in the 21st round.
Eva previously won school and regional spelling bees in Charlotte and advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC two years ago. Not knowing what to expect at her first UCPS Spelling Bee, she reviewed lists of words from prior competitions and other languages to find patterns in the words.
“This was a pleasant surprise to have won because I didn’t know what to expect since I’m new to this school system,” she said. “It’s really exciting.”
Weddington Elementary fourth-grader Harini Rajakumar was runner-up for the second straight year.
“These are the best spellers that I’ve seen in a long time,” Harini said. “To have beaten so many super great spellers – that’s really amazing.”