National Senior Spelling Bee  


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2013 AARP Senior Spelling Bee Results
June 13, 2013, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Tony Johnson, 60, from LaGrange, Ga., and newcomer Lauren Matz, 54, from Olean, New York, battled each other evenly for 15 rounds until Lauren missed chymotrypsinogen, which is “a zymogen that is secreted by the pancreas and is converted by trypsin.” Tony walked away with first place by correctly spelling ytterbium, which means “a soft metallic element of the rare-earth group that occurs especially with other rare earth elements in minerals and that has few commercial uses.”

Tony, who must be a poetaster at heart, offered up this doggerel to Lauren, who had displayed such tenacity during the oral rounds:

I like your class
I love your style
But as well as you spell
I won't be back for a while!

Lauren is no stranger to heated national spelling competitions—she finished second in the 1972 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee when she was an eighth-grader at All Saints School in Buffalo, New York.

Third place went to Mary Ann Fenske, 65, from Wichita, Kan., who incorrectly spelled the word aposematically, which means "being conspicuous and serving to warn." Mary Ann, who has made it to the oral finals all four times she has entered, had the distinction of correctly spelling the word electroencephalographically, which is the longest word in the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the source of all the spelling words for the bee.

Tony Johnson
LaGrange, GA
1st Place
2013 AARP Spelling Bee

Lauren Matz
Olean, NY
2nd Place

Mary Ann Fenske
Wichita, KS
3rd Place