In the end, a previous winner mastered the words photogenic, derivative, leonine and rejuvenate to capture the title again.
Michael Havasy, a 13‑year-old North Augusta Middle School pupil, won the contest. The runner-up was 14-year-old Thomas Clayton, also a North Augusta Middle pupil. Both will represent Area II at the district bee on Feb. 2 at the URS Center for the Performing Arts in Aiken.
Stephen Harmon, a Hammond Hill Elementary School fifth-grader, is the alternate.
"It was amazing," Havasy said of the win.