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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Outlasting 19 other competitors, Trenton Cox took home the title of Bullitt County Spelling Bee champ on Tuesday night.
Having to spell just five words to capture the countywide contest, Cox successfully defended the title Eastside Middle won last year.
"I've always been good at spelling," said the eighth-grade student. "I do a lot of reading."
Coming into the competition, Cox said he did study the challenge words for the event. He also had some push from his mom, Kristie, who is a teacher in the school system.
During the practice round where pronouncer Jan Stone led all 20 contestants through a get-acquainted time at the microphone, Cox said he was nervous.
But once the competition started, he settled down.
"I tried to focus on a spot the whole time," Cox said of his strategy.
His other trick was to phonetically sound out the words.
As the other competitors went through their words, the son of Andy and Kristie Cox, said he spelled along with them.
In the end, Cox had to spell "vendetta" to collect the final prize.
He listed language arts and social studies as his favorite subjects. Math would be on his other list.
Cox is a member of the Eastside academic team, which recently won the district Governor's Cup. By placing fifth in written composition, he will advance to regional competition.
"I was just relieved," Cox said of his feelings when the final word had been spelled.
Kassi Gilbert of Bernheim Middle placed second and third place was a tie between Zoneton's Chaise Bennett and St. Aloysius' Travis Ray.
Other school representatives included: Heaven Durrett, Brooks Elementary; Ian Anderson, Crossroads Elementary; Aberiel Barrett, Cedar Grove Elementary; Lauren Ogle, Freedom Elementary; Hallie Cunningham, Lebanon Junction Elementary; Gage Harris, Maryville Elementary; Halle Salsman, Mount Washington Elementary; Kaylan Heath, Nichols Elementary; Jake Keys, Old Mill Elementary; Devin Sizemore, Overdale Elementary; Lindsey Spencer, Pleasant Grove Elementary; Evan Wright, Roby Elementary; Madison Fackler, Shepherdsville Elementary; Jeremie Johnson, Bullitt Lick Middle; Robby Baker, Hebron Middle; and Cameron Brooks, Mount Washington Middle.
Sharon Etherton, Jennifer Clements and Kay Kendall, all of Stock Yards Bank, served as judges.