Regional spelling bee champion crowned

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls student can officially call herself a champion speller after winning the 33rd Annual Regional Spelling Bee.

She competed against some of the Falls best young minds at the Region 9 Education Service Center.

Spelling words are hard and they can be painful as well. Many of the 21 children competing at the spelling bee could hardly hold back tears when they heard those dreadful words, "sorry that is incorrect."

After more than 20 rounds of grueling tongue twisters, a champion was crowned.

Celine Yap, an eighth grader from Christ Academy Junior High, took home the award for champion speller.

"I was excited," said Yap. "I was proud because my brother won last year so I'm really happy to finish our legacy."

Yap said as she came closer to the finish line, she started to feel the tension.

"I was really afraid because it's my last year and I want to make everyone proud," said Yap.

First runner-up champion, fourth grader Malec Chambers from Notre Dame Elementary, said he's ready for next year's award show after today's performance.

"I didn't think I was going to make it that far," said Malec.

His father, Rhett Chambers, said he was more nervous than his son was.

"As you see one go and then the next and the next, it would've been nice if he would've got the word there," said Rhett. "It looks like all those words were pretty tough," said Rhett.

Malec said the best advice he can give another speller is "parents are always right."