A fourth-grader out-spelled his 12 competitors Wednesday to win the spelling bee.
Elijah Yifrach, 9, won the spelling bee on the word "altercation." He also correctly spelled "accrued," "potassium," "compromise," "tentativeness," "ensemble," "behemoth," "mortgage" and "beatific," among other words.
Austin Moca, a sixth-grader from , took second place. Moca and Yifrach were in their fourth round as the final two when both misspelled their words, "nuance" and "zaniness," respectively.
In the next round, Moca misspelled "jocular," giving Yifrach the opportunity to spell "veteran" and "altercation" correctly.
Yifrach will represent District 68 in the DuPage County spelling bee on Feb. 21. If he wins there, he will compete in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, this spring.
Moca won the district spelling bee last year. After the bee he shook hands with Yifrach and his family shared preparation tips with Yifrach's.
"I had my chance to go last year," Moca said.
Yifrach said he didn't study for his school spelling bee but did study the list given to him for the district bee.
"I knew every word on that list," Yifrach said.
He was nervous for the spelling bee and even more for the county. He hoped that he could win, though, he said.
Not surprisingly, Yifrach's favorite school subject is spelling. Besides reading, he said.
The following students competed in the district spelling bee after qualifying in their school spelling bees:
- Ayyan Ahmad, fourth grade, Goodrich Elementary School
- Arianna Jefferson, fourth grade, Edgewood Elementary School
- Sebastian Kandakudy, fourth grade, John L. Sipley Elementary School
- Amelia Korbitz, fifth grade, Meadowview Elementary School
- Jon Meyers, eighth grade, Jefferson Jr. High School (qualified but did not compete)
- Austin Moca, sixth grade, Willow Creek Elementary School
- Jake O'Conner, sixth grade, William F. Murphy Elementary School
- Jhenevie Oca, sixth grade, John L. Sipley Elementary School
- Monica Rainyte, sixth grade, Willow Creek Elementary School
- Rahmatullah Riaz, fourth grade, Goodrich Elementary School
- Luke Rohde, fifth grade, Meadowview Elementary School
- Kadeem Smith, sixth grade, Edgewood Elementary School
- Hunter Staszak, eighth grade, Jefferson Jr. High School
- Elijah Yifrach, fourth grade, William F. Murphy Elementary School