Neenah’s top fifth grade spellers competed in the 51st annual city spelling bee on Friday with John Grossman of St. Margaret Mary finally claiming the title in the 24th round at the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade.
Grossman’s winning word was “polyester” as he finished a perfect 25-for-25 for the day. Grossman and Jetta Popp from New Hope Christian School were the final two candidates after Clayton Elementary’s Joshua Schultz was eliminated in the 17th round on the word “inert.” Grossman and Popp each spelled six more words correctly before Popp misspelled “assault.” Grossman spelled the word correctly and then accurately completed the championship word to win the event.
The meet featured the champion from each of Neenah’s nine public and four parochial schools. All 13 spellers advanced through the first round and eight spellers managed to advance through the first seven rounds.
The event was down to six spellers in the 10th round when Campbell Ebben from Hoover Elementary and Wolfgang Strubbe from Roosevelt Elementary were each knocked out. Rachel Jones from Spring Road was eliminated in the 11th round to finish fourth overall.
The other competitors were Luke Carver from Lakeview Elementary, Keller Otto from Trinity Lutheran, Mark Mainville from Tullar Elementary, Marianne Nguyen from Wilson Elementary, Carly LaFave from Coolidge Elementary, Elise Wierzbicki from St. Gabriel and Sam Hinrichs from Alliance Charter School.
Runner-ups from each school’s contest served as alternates. They were Jason Fisher from Alliance, Trenton Bauer from Clayton, Autumn Schultz from Coolidge, Olyvia Hoks from Hoover, Alicia Zhang from Lakeview, Dawson Dieck from New Hope, Malique Nelson from Roosevelt, Cade Beaudreau from Spring Road, Tessa Long from St. Gabriel, Emma Jares from St. Margaret Mary, Macy Yohr from Trinity Lutheran, Austin Schumacher from Tullar and Mackenzie McGregor from Wilson.