For the 14 super spellers who made it through Tuesday night's bee, their next stop is the Davis County Spelling Bee, which takes place March 20 at Woods Cross High School. There, the winners of the north and south bees, plus the winners of the junior high school bees, will collide in an effort to become the county's top speller.
The winner will represent Utah in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., a prize beyond any of these spellers' wildest dreams.
But it's not just all fun and games. "To practice, I say the word five times and then spell it six times," said Sadie Hatch, a student from Adelaide Elementary.
Even while sitting in their seats, waiting for the bee to commence, students and parents were continually drilling the sheets of words they were given to study.
The bee began promptly at 7 p.m. The time had come for the roughly 75 contestants to take their place in a randomly selected order on the stage.
"Students have worked so hard to get here. Good sportsmanship is key during this bee," Sydney King, Davis County spelling bee coordinator, said to the auditorium, moments before the bee commenced.
And so it began. One by one, nervous students started the long march toward the microphone in the spotlight to spell their words. With words like "catkin" and "mahimahi," being a competing speller here was definitely no easy task.
Just before 9 p.m., the group of 75 was narrowed down to about 30. The real challenge began when students were asked to spell words that they had never seen before.
After seven rounds, the top winners were announced, and they will now get ready to move onto the Davis County Bee.
"I'm really excited about moving on to the county bee. But it will be bigger, so I'm nervous," said Isabelle Reece.
Meanwhile, the North Davis Bee takes place at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at North Davis Junior High School in Clearfield. Winners from each of the north and south bees will be sent to the county bee in March.