by Greta Yeoman
School-aged spellers from across the central South Island converged on Timaru last week, for the annual Otago Daily Times Extra! central South Island quiz.
Teams from Timaru, Ashburton, Mt Hutt, Temuka, Geraldine and Waimate competed across two days last week in the inter-school event at Timaru Boys’ High School hall.
The year 5 and 6 quiz on Wednesday evening set the tone of fierce competition, and Gleniti School triumphed by half a point.
The trio won the event with a score of 87.5, beating Waimate Centennial’s second place score of 87 points. Long Beach School, located just south of Ashburton, placed third on 86 points.
Their year 7 and 8 counterparts were also involved in a close competition, later that evening, as first place was decided by a seven-question spell-off between Ashburton Intermediate and St Joseph’s, also from Ashburton.
Both teams sat on 93 points, ahead of Gleniti School in third place, and the competition was eventually won by Ashburton Intermediate when they correctly spelled “sergeant”.
Ashburton College retained their first place title in the year 9 and 10 contest on Thursday evening after a new group of competing pupils repeated last year’s success.
Their final score of 73.5 topped Geraldine High School’s 72 points for second place and Mountainview High School claimed third place on 69 points.
The quiz is run throughout the lower South Island by the Otago Daily Times, through Extra!, its monthly Newspapers in Education publication for primary, intermediate and junior secondary school pupils.