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Marblehead’s Robson wins Item spelling bee

Will Robson of Marblehead was the winner of the 33rd Annual Daily Item Regional Spelling Bee. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — Eighth-grader Will Robson showed spelling runs in the family.

Friday night, he was champion of the 33rd Annual Daily Item Regional Spelling Bee just as his brother Mitchell Robson did from 2014 to 2016.

“I’m very excited about the chance to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.,” said Will, a St. John’s Preparatory School student. “I’ve been there with my brother, and it was really fun.”

For his performance, Will won airfare, accommodations, and spending money for a five-day trip to Washington D.C., a $100 gift card to Amazon, a one-year premium subscription to Britannica Online Premium, a Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online one-year subscription, a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition), Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement – the New “Nautical Words,” and The Samuel Louis Sugarman 2018 United States Mint Proof set.

The competition, co-sponsored by Flagship Travel, was tightly contested. Runners up Massimo Bottari of the Veterans Middle School in Marblehead, and last year’s champion Ashrita Gandhari of Franklin Elementary School in North Andover, were eliminated just a few words before.

Winners representing 55 North Shore schools competed in the contest.

Will seemed relaxed on stage as he made a few jokes and corrected announcer William McGuinness on the pronunciation of the word “hemerocallis,” a flowering plant.

“Now I’m getting hungry,” he said after being asked to spell Kielbasa, a Polish sausage.

After several rounds, Sara Granados, a third-grader at the James J. Hill Elementary School in Revere, appeared to be a crowd favorite.

Outfitted in a pink dress, Sara looked up to spell at a microphone placed a few inches above her head, receiving applause for each correct spelling.

When she was eliminated, coming in fourth place, she was the first contestant to receive a standing ovation.

Before the ceremony, Ashrita and sponsor Joel Abramson handed a bouquet of flowers to retiring Superintendent of Schools Dr. Catherine Latham.

“Every one of you are winners just to be sitting here on this stage tonight,” she said.

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