GHS Spell Bowl team captures third place at state competition

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Displaying their Class 3 third-place medals from the 2011 Indiana Academic Spell Bowl are Greencastle High School team members (front, from left) Dylan Bodnarick, Taylor Secrest, Annalysse Mason, Katie Steele-Kannowski, Alice Moore, Nicolette Peters and academic coach Nicole Kempf and (back, from left) Beth Ann Hansen, Rebecca Moore, Hannah Gellman, Erin McConkey, Avery Robinson, Erik Norlin, Matthew White and Ethan Gill.

WEST LAFAYETTE -- A third-place finish at state competition may spell even greater success in the future, Greencastle High School academic coach Nicole Kempf believes.

She watched her young GHS spell bowl team finish behind only repeat champion Cascade High School and runner-up Benton Central Saturday in Class 3 competition at Purdue University.

"We placed third with a mostly freshmen team," Kempf told the Banner Graphic. "So I'm looking forward to the future."

Undoubtedly so after four GHS spellers posted perfect scores (nine out of nine) -- Beth Ann Hansen, Hannah Gellman, Alice Moore and Katie Steele-Kannowski.

That's quite an accomplishment, especially while spelling words the likes of quidnunc, montmorillonite, hematopoiesis and weigela.

Annalysse Mason posted a near-perfect score of eight of nine.

"All of my experienced spellers scored perfect or near-perfects," Kempf said. "Others were prepared but nervous.

"I can't wait to see how this mostly freshmen team does next year," she added.

Moore is the only senior on this year's GHS squad.

"But I hear I have some more great freshmen coming next year," Kempf said of the current eighth-grade crop of spellers.

Greencastle had entered Saturday's state finals with the highest area score in Class 3, having recorded a 68 at Danville on Oct. 17.

That was four points better than Cascade at the area level.

Other Class 3 state finalists competing against Greencastle, Cascade and Benton Central were Gary Andrean, Garrett, North Posey and South Spencer.

State champions in the other classes were: Class 1, Martinsville; Class 2, John Glenn High School, Walkerton; and Class 4, Northeast Dubois.

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  • This is an outstanding accomplishment for Coach Nicole Kempf and Team. Too many times these events get shoved aside but the academics at GHS are second to none!! These kids work hard and GHS is very fortunate to have such an outstanding coach and representative to lead our students!

    -- Posted by Florida Gator on Wed, Nov 16, 2011, at 7:54 AM
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