February 19, 2014 | 10:30 AM
Zachary Patterson's trajectory was constantly upward throughout his miraculous run to the Harrison County Spelling Bee championship last Wednesday evening at Morgan Elementary School. He may have celebrated by eating licorice and dancing the cotillion.
Patterson, a seventh grader at Corydon Central Junior High School, correctly spelled four words on his way to the title: cotillion (a French dance that was the forerunner to the square dance), licorice, trajectory and miraculous.
The first round of the event took out seven of the 11 competitors. Erica Wood of Heth-Washington Elementary (sixth grade), Lily Romeo of Lanesville Elementary (sixth grade) and Kira England of Morgan Elementary (fifth grade) joined Patterson in the second round.
England was eliminated when she misspelled "insidious."
Patterson, Romeo and Wood all correctly spelled their round-three words. But, in round four, Wood was tripped up on "polonaise" and Romeo caught a tough break when she correctly spelled "volunteer" but her word was actually "volunteered."
And with that, Patterson was crowned champion.
Event coordinator and pronouncer Lark Mull said she remembered Patterson made it to the county spelling bee as a third grader four years ago.
It took three more rounds to determine a runner-up when Wood outlasted Romeo.
Other competitors, who were champions of their school, were: Daniel Oberdieck, St. John's Lutheran (sixth grade); Jack Burks, North Harrison Elementary (fifth grade); Kristian Ketterer, South Central Elementary (fifth grade); Logan Heintz, New Middletown Elementary (sixth grade); Lucy Robertson, St. Joseph Catholic (sixth); Luke Spine, North Harrison Middle (sixth grade); and Skylar Hill, Corydon Intermediate (fifth grade).
The judges were Megan Reynolds, MES principal; Marsha Himmelhaver, LES principal; and Jane Schladand, NHMS library media specialist.
Patterson will now move on to the Ford Motor Co. Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee set for March 15 at the Kosair Shrine Club in the Spalding University Ballroom in Louisville. The competition will begin at 11 a.m. and will feature the top spellers from Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The top five finishers will receive savings bonds from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, and the overall champion will get to ride on the winner's float in the Pegasus Parade.