That left the door open for sixth grader Blake Bouwman of Excel Charter Academy, who correctly spelled "mariachi" to win the regional bee and advance to the Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee.
Bouwman correctly spelled "philanthropy" in round 15. Sixth-grader Michalk misspelled "eulogy" and then eighth-grader Stewart misspelled "koan."
Bouwman was then able to correctly spell one more word that won him the title. The contest included two rounds of vocabulary and 14 rounds of spelling.
There were 13 spellers competing at the regional spelling bee. The students represented fourth through eighth grades and represented Excel Charter Academy, Caledonia Paris Ridge Elementary, Lowell Middle, Ada Christian, East Grand Rapids Breton Downs Elementary, Thornapple Kellogg Middle School, and West Side Christian.