By WARREN DILLAWAY - firstname.lastname@example.org
The room exploded with raucous applause after James Elliott, a seventh grader at Grand Valley Middle School, spelled the word raucous correctly clinching his second straight district-wide spelling bee Tuesday evening.
Elliott also is the defending Ashtabula County champion and will soon be defending his title.
Twenty three competitors started the competition and almost 90 minutes later Elliott was in the final round with Summer Poyer, a fourth grader, and Alex Bill, a seventh grader.
As the three finalists entered the 13th round Poyer nervously tapped her feet. Elliott spelled his word correctly and the two girls missed their words setting up one word for Elliott to claim the championship.
Several contestants reacted happily after spelling a word correctly.
Pleasant, cucumber, subsequent, personage and archaic were just a few of the words the students had to spell.
During the first three rounds only four competitors were eliminated and there were still nine students left after seven rounds.
More than 80 fans sat on chairs in the school’s auditeria quietly hoping for a family victory.
Elliott is the son of Rebecca and Robert Elliott. He will be defending his title at the Ashtabula County Spelling Bee in February.