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Charleston Daily Mail: Hats off, Jan. 25, 2014

Varun Kukkillaya and Lauren Volk are good spellers. The two 7th graders at John Adams and Andrew Jackson middle schools, respectively, dueled for 72 rounds without misspelling a word in the Kanawha County Spelling Bee last week.

The result: the first ever tie in the county's bee. The draw at the end began four hours earlier, reported the Gazette-Mail's Shay Maunz, with 62 spellers from schools across the county.

One by one they approached the microphone and were given a word. After spelling it, they walked away eyeing the four judges, waiting for the fateful sound of a bell, the signal that they'd misspelled the word.

Thirty-eight kids heard the bell in the first round. The field was further winnowed down to those two over the next ten rounds -- then they alone continued it for 70 more rounds.Both Kukkillaya and Volk will go on to compete in the 2014 Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee on March 22 at Capital High School.


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