PITTSFIELD -- Trista Dearstyne nailed the spelling of "repertoire" to take top honors at the 19th annual Pittsfield Spelling Championship on Tuesday.
"I was extremely nervous but after the first few words I got pretty focused," said Dearstyne, a 12-year-old Herberg Middle School student. "Spelling ‘grandiloquence' right definitely got my confidence up."
At the end of the contest, Dearstyne went head-to-head against her friend Meagan Ellis, also of Herberg, for the Champion Individual Speller distinction.
Teams of students from Reid Middle School and St. Mark School also took part.
"It's an internal battle between the Herbies," judge Kate Alexander said after the final St. Marks competitor, Marianne Pettograsso fell to "declamatory."
Herberg will now hold the title until next year's competition, having racked up its third consecutive title.
Looking on Tuesday were Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi and Pittsfield Public Schools Committee Chairwoman Katherine Yon.
"This is a great competition," Bianchi said. "We go to a lot of sporting events but the scholastic events are the ones that I think are really terrific."
St. Mark took early bruises, losing competitors Scotty Marquis and Trinity Peets, but held out thanks to the efforts of Pettograsso, who for several rounds remained St. Mark's only competitor and outlasted any student on the Reid team.
Still, Reid's team took second place for spelling the second-most total words correctly behind Herbert.
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