Columbus 8th grader goes 20 rounds to win the county spelling bee crown
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Columbus 8th-grader Grady Olsen (right) is the 2022 Stillwater County Spelling Bee champion. Park City 8th grader Hayden Fenton (left) finished second. Photo by John Smith.

Columbus 8th grader Grady Olsen is the 2022 Spelling Bee champion.

And he had to work for it.

Olsen bested a field of 25 spellers last Wednesday, Feb. 23, to win the title on the word “affectionately.”

In the hunt until the 19th round were Absarokee 8th grader Quinn Rosser and Park City 8th grader Hayden Fenton. Fenton took second place on the word “oxygenate,” said Stillwater Superintendent of Schools John Smith.

Olsen will compete in the state Spelling Bee in Bozeman on March 14.

The county bee draws the best spellers from each school in Stillwater County. Smith said that this was the first year since 2020 that a full field had competed. “We had a really good bunch of kids,” said Smith.