Two Dunstan teams contest tie-breaker

Bright young minds prepare to tackle the Otago Daily Times Extra! spelling quiz at Cromwell...
Bright young minds prepare to tackle the Otago Daily Times Extra! spelling quiz at Cromwell College. Photo by Jono Edwards.

While Dunstan High School pupils were modest about their spelling contest win, no-one would describe them as being surreptitious.

And why would they be, when it was that 13-letter monster word which secured Damien Miller, Caleb Middendorf and Jake O'Malley victory over their schoolmates at the Otago Daily Times Extra! year 9 and 10 spelling quiz at Cromwell College last night?

For the competition, 31 teams of three from six schools in the wider Central Otago area were tested in 10 rounds of spelling, word origins, abbreviations and dictionary research.

Damien said when it came to the tie-breaker, he did not mind if they won or not.

"Either way, it was Dunstan winning.''

After both scoring 88 out of 100 in the final round, the two teams faced off, both successfully spelling unconquerable and silhouette.

Caleb clinched it for the team by jotting down the correct spelling of surreptitious.

"If you look closely you'll recognise my hideous handwriting.''

They received a plaque for their school and book vouchers for their win.

A team from Queenstown's Wakatipu High School were only one point behind the two Dunstan teams, placing third with their 87-point effort.

Extra! editor Ivan Behrnes said it was great to have a playoff.

"You've got to make the words hard because these kids are so talented.''

It would be interesting to see how the parents went spelling some of the words, he said.

The quiz will visit Dunedin next week, with year 5 and 6 and year 7 and 8 contests taking place at Tahuna Normal Intermediate School on Wednesday, and the year 9 and 10 round being contested at Otago Girls' High School the following night.

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