V-I-C-T-O-R-Y: County spelling champ is headed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington

We probably don’t have to tell you that “terete” means cylindrical and smooth, often with ends that taper. But you might not know it was the championship word at this weekend’s Orange County Spelling Bee.

After 13 rounds, seventh-grader ​Winston Zuo of Fairmont Private Schools‘ Historic Anaheim Campus correctly spelled out T-E-R-E-T-E on Saturday to win the county title and a trip to the 90th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Travel expenses will be paid by the Orange County Register, which sponsored the contest along with OCDE.

Orange County Spelling Bee winner Winston ZuoWinston beat out some pretty tough competition. The students who participated in the 54th annual county bee had already won preliminary contests at their schools and were among 120 invited to compete in a written contest at OCDE on Feb. 21. Of that group, 47 advanced to the final showdown.

As the rounds wore on, a succession of words — some familiar, some not so much — narrowed the list of spellers, and by round 10, there were only two left. Along with Winston, Audrey Lim of St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita made it to the final round. She finished second overall, taking home a trophy and $200.

Tied for third were Umar Aziz of Orange Crescent School, Daniel Corcoran of Greentree Elementary School, Nicholas D’Sa of St. Cecilia School, Nathan Lee of Las Flores Middle School, Ming Li of South Lake Middle School, Edward Park of Oxford Academy and Zoe Zurvalec of Las Flores Middle School. They each receive a trophy and $100.

As we said, the Orange County Register sponsored the competition, and reporter Brian Whitehead wrote this story.