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Lucas Liner, 13, competed in the 2008 and 2009 Blade Northwest Ohio Championship Spelling Bees.
At the 2010 bee, the Eastwood Middle School student became a champion with the spelling of the word "suasible" - capable of being induced into some mental position.
"It seems like this time was definitely more nerve-wracking than before," said Lucas of Luckey, Ohio, an eighth grader.
Not least was the competition. During intermission, he counted 16 other spellers left out of 48 who were in the first round.
Still, Lucas aced "forlorn," "haiku," and "carnivore" during the bee, held at Owens Community College in Perrysburg Township.
He held the microphone as he carefully spelled "trajectory" and released an audible whew-of-relief when he spelled "pneumatic" and "serendipity." He made it through "algorithm," "imbecile," and "dissonant."
Then only he and Carl Bachmayer, 15, of West Toledo remained on stage. Lucas misspelled "paregoric." Carl, an eighth grader who is home schooled, correctly spelled
"supplementary," but misspelled "debutante."
That gave Lucas another chance at the microphone. He correctly spelled "obreptitious" - done or obtained by trickery or by concealing the truth.
Carl misspelled "pugilant," and Lucas returned to clinch the bee with "suasible."
Lucas was cheered on by his mother, Amy Taulker, and grandmother, Donna Filiere. "We're still kind of in shock," his mother said more than an hour later.
By this bee, Lucas knew how and what to study - word origins more than word lists.
"After the third time, I didn't know how it was going to happen. I knew I would do my best," Lucas said. "And this is my best."
Carl, competing in his first regional bee, had a cheering section of supporters, including his parents Susan and Albert Bachmayer.
"I asked God to help me, and he did," Carl said afterward. "I'm happy coming in second place. I couldn't have asked for anything more."
As champion, Lucas will receive a trip to the National Spelling Bee, which begins June 2 in Washington, with his expenses paid by The Blade. The winner's prizes also included a Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary, a $100 savings bond, and a plaque.
Carl's prizes as first runner-up included a Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
The second runner-up was Pete Schoenhals, 14, an eighth grader at Archbold Middle School, making his third regional bee appearance. An informal spell-off in which Pete correctly spelled "nucleus" broke a tie for the spot.
The 2008 champion, Keith "Kai" Roberts returned as auditor. Judges were Debby Geyer, the Blade's Newspaper In Education coordinator; Mary Ann Stibbe, a retired educator, and Bailey Shoemaker Richards, the 2003 and 2004 champion who now is a junior at Ohio University.
Alex Clarkson, who teaches honors English at Sylvania Southview High School was moderator and pronouncer.
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