Louisburg Middle School eighth-grader Blake Amren (left) was the winner of the Miami County spelling bee, and his classmate Erin Apple (right) was the runner-up.

OSAWATOMIE — The spelling prowess of Louisburg Middle School eighth-grader Blake Amren was on full display during the Miami County spelling bee.

Blake walked into the Osawatomie High School auditorium on Friday, Feb. 21, as the reigning countywide spelling champion, and he refused to relinquish the title.

It took 30 rounds of competition against 15 other top spellers from throughout the county, but in the end, Blake was once again the last man standing.

He won the bee by correctly spelling “corgi” and then the championship word “fabulist.”

It was the fourth time Blake has been crowned the county’s top speller. He first won the county bee in 2015 as a third-grader. In 2017, he won again as a fifth-grader at Broadmoor Elementary, and he won last year as a seventh-grader at Louisburg Middle School.

Thanks to his most recent victory, Blake will once again be representing Miami County during the Sunflower State Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 21, at Newman University in Wichita.

Louisburg is beginning to get a reputation for producing great spellers. The runner-up at Friday’s countywide bee was Louisburg Middle School eighth-grader Erin Apple.

Erin and Blake went back and forth correctly spelling a handful of words until Erin got tripped up on “arboreal” in round 29. The two classmates each raised both of their arms into the air and gave each other a double high five after Blake won the bee. They did the same thing earlier this year after they finished as the top two spellers in the Louisburg Middle School bee.

The top two spellers in last year’s county bee were also both from Louisburg. Blake won, and Emma Holloway was the runner-up. Emma was an eighth-grader at the time.

Participants in the 2020 Miami County spelling bee were: fifth-graders Wyatt Elsbury and Noelle McBee from Trojan Elementary, fifth-graders Parker Powers and Dakin Kacklovich from Broadmoor Elementary, third-grader Ava Behrendt and fifth-grader Jayde Moss from Sunflower Elementary, eighth-graders Hudson Dunbar and Grant Kilbourn from Osawatomie Middle School, eighth-graders Blake Amren and Erin Apple from Louisburg Middle School, eighth-graders Adeline Stuebner and Maddi Markovich from Paola Middle School, eighth-graders Matthew St. Marie and Lincoln McIntire from Holy Trinity Catholic School, and seventh-grader Sam Fangman and eighth-grader Jessi Miller from Queen of the Holy Rosary-Wea.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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