HARRISONBURG — The last word Madeline Hall had to spell to seal victory at the Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday couldn’t have been more appropriate.
After runner-up Hannah Hilliard stumbled on “banzai,” Madeline had the opportunity to take first place by correctly spelling “finale,” as in “the close or termination of something,” according to Merriam-Webster.
“I knew it because I’m a dancer, and it fit because it was [the end of the bee],” said Madeline, 13, a seventh-grader at Wilbur Pence Middle School in Dayton and the daughter of Dara and Michael Hall.
Madeline secured the top spot among 20 spellers in Saturday’s bee, sponsored by the Rockingham District Ruritans and co-sponsored by the Daily News-Record and public television station WVPT. WVPT hosted the bee at its studio on the corner of Port Republic Road and Bluestone Drive in Harrisonburg.
Madeline won an all-expense paid trip for her and her mother to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held in May in Washington, D.C.
Check back for complete story here and in Monday's print edition of the Daily News-Record.