A 13-year-old Galloway Township Middle School student has won the South Jersey Spelling Bee for the second year in a row.
Brian Dunn, the bee coordinator, said Ebose Eigbe took victory — with the word “cease” — after a grueling 30 rounds.
“We got down to the final four and there was quite a while going back and forth,” said Dunn, a fifth-grade teacher at Galloway’s Roland Rogers Elementary School. “They just knew the words.”
All South Jersey students are eligible to participate, but all of the contestants came from either Atlantic or Cape May counties. The 31 contestants mastered a number of challenging words, he said, such as apartheid, blitzkrieg and ipecac.
“They didn’t miss a beat until the very last round,” Dunn said.
Pranshu Suri, 12, of Northfield Community Middle School, placed second. Beth Anne Castellano, 12, of Fernwood Middle School in Egg Harbor Township, placed third.
Dunn said Eigbe will go on to compete at Scripps National Spelling Bee, to be held May 28-30 in Washington, D.C.
The local bee, which was sponsored by ShopRite, was hosted at Galloway Township Middle School.