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Colorado Spelling Bee champ returns to nationals

Posted: 7:21 PM, Mar 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-13 17:39:16-04

An eighth-grader at Creighton Middle School in Lakewood beat out 280 students to win the 76th annual Colorado State Spelling Bee.

The competition went 22 rounds with 13-year-old Sylvie Lamontagne winning on the word "ossifrage," which according to Merriam-Webster comes from the Latin word for bone breaker and references a Old World vulture.

Lamontagne also won last year's state spelling bee and went on to place ninth in the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

She started participating in bees in the third grade, came in 26th place as a fifth-grader in the state bee and moved up to 8th place in 2014.

Austin McBride, an eighth-grader at Campus Middle School in Greenwood Village, took second place in the State Spelling Bee.

He wanted to thank his mom who helped him prepare.

"She would go through the dictionary and find words that she'd think would be tested," McBride said.

He also talked to Denver7 about the key to spelling.

"You can do good if you have a passion for it and if you just have the determination to continue on." 

Eighth graders Bryn Flanigan and Andrew Haapala tied for third place in the State Selling Bee.

Lamontagne now advances to compete for $30,000 at the  2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Md. in May.

Scripps is the parent company of Denver7, KMGH-TV & TheDenverChannel.com in Denver.

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