Brandon Whitehead, a fifth-grader at Camino Real Elementary School in Pedley, won the 30th Annual Riverside County Spelling Bee on March 28 by correctly spelling the word "preparate" (meaning prepared or ready) in the 18th round.
The competition with 25 students lasted three hours in the Hole Memorial Auditorium at La Sierra University in Riverside.
Second-place finisher Kendra Burns, a fifth-grader at Tuscany Hills Elementary School in Lake Elsinore, will join Whitehead at the state championships. She misspelled "tamarisk," which is a small tree or shrub, in the 17th round.
Whitehead correctly spelled "fuliginous" and "goateed" before "preparate" to win.
Third place went to Austin Pineda from the Romoland School District and fourth place went to Anika Alam from Moreno Valley Unified School District.
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