By LARRY WOOD/The Aiken Standard
Clara Rose Padgett, Aiken County’s top speller, placed second in the regional championship Scripps National Spelling Bee on Saturday in Augusta.
Padgett, a fifth-grader at East Aiken School of the Arts, battled through 26 rounds at the bee, going “toe-to-toe with two of the previous regional champions in a three-way competition for 18 of those rounds,” said her grandmother, Laura Lance.
Padgett correctly spelled fletcherism, mantilla, trapezoid, Crusoe, pinafore and other words. She missed on the word “unannotated."
During the competition, Padgett had a little help from her family – a lucky chicken.
“It was a gift from her little sister,” Lance said. “She kept the chicken in her pocket during the county competition but held it in her hand for the regional.”
Padgett, a daughter of Charles and Wren Padgett, won the Aiken County Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals in January after more than 20 rounds with runner-up, Tylus Duane Madison, an eighth grader at Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School and last year’s county spelling bee finals winner.
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