After 25 grueling rounds in Sunday's 13th annual Macomb Daily Regional Spelling Bee, Shelby Township's own Gurjiwan Chahal claimed victory over last year's defending champion, Nathaniel Britton, according to the sponsoring newspaper.
An eighth grader at Shelby Junior High School, Chahal won not only the regional title, but the right to represent Macomb County in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
Out-spelling 68 other fifth through eighth graders from public and private schools across the county, the competition came down to Chahal and Britton, who at age 11 was the youngest champion in Macomb Daily Spelling Bee history last year.
For 12 rounds, Chahal and Britton, a student at Peace Lutheran School in Shelby Township, battled word-for-word on the stage of the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.
Round 24 saw Chahal emerge the victor after he correctly spelled "purview" and "sedative" consecutively, The Macomb Daily reports.
Chahal is the second member of his family to have competed in the bee, as his sister, Devpreet, finished in the top four six years ago.
As the winner of the bee, Chahal receives an expense-paid trip for two to Washington D.C. to compete in the Scripps bee, a first-place trophy and certificate, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, and a Samuel Louis Sugarman Award Certificate.
Shelby Junior High will receive a traveling trophy for display.
Chahal will compete against 277 spellers from across the country in the national contest, May 28-30.