Toki Middle School (Madison) eighth-grader Matthew Brock wins All-City Spelling Bee

Howard Hardee:

After outlasting 45 fellow students in a war of words that played out over three hours, Matthew Brock won first place at Saturday’s All-City Spelling Bee.

Brock, 14, is an eighth-grader at Toki Middle School. He had his eye on the top prize after taking third place in the 2018 contest and falling to fourth last year, he said after the bee at Madison Area Technical College’s Mitby Theater.

“I read a lot and I practiced the study list,” he said. “Every time I see a word I don’t know, I look up the definition and try to understand whatever the context may be.

After second-place finisher Vincent Bautista stumbled over “euphonious,” Brock spelled it correctly and sealed his victory by getting “dolomite” right, too.

Brock will now move on to the Badger State Spelling Bee, scheduled for March 7 in Mitby Theater. The state champion will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee held in May in National Harbor, Maryland.