Britnay is Manchester champion Bee
Kerry-Ann Hepburn, Children's Own Coordinator
Mandeville, Manchester: It was like deja vu at the Mandeville Parish church hall on Tuesday.
Under the cover of dark clouds, Britnay Allen and Ojea Sheckleford, both formally of Mandeville Primary School and now of DeCarteret College and Manchester High, respectively, and both coached by Primrose Swaby, stood against each other in a contest which saw some of the strongest spellers of the day.
After rounds of bouncing final words between the two, defending champion, Ojea, was edged out by Britnay after he misspelled the word F-U-T-I-L-I-T-A-R-I-A-N. Britnay's victory came with the correct spelling of G-L-O-C-K-E-N-S-P-I-E-L.
The reaction from the audience was mixed, but that did not deter the joy and excitement from the supporters of the first-form student. Pulled into hugs filled with congratulatory remarks, Allen covered her face as tears of joy filled her eyes.
"I'm just so happy, I don't have words to explain," she said with a smile. "I prayed a lot and God came through for me."
The 12-year-old said she would be studying extra hard for the national championship and her focus would be on researching new words as well as words with French etymology.
The coach of the top boy and girl is no stranger to this overall placement.
This is the second year in a row that Swaby's charges have copped the top spots.
"I am happy; I'm overwhelmed, I'm so happy," she said.
When asked about how she would be preparing for the national finals, Swaby said she and Britnay would be going straight to the dictionary.
The parish finals saw a turnout of 37 students from 24 schools.
1. Britnay Allen, DeCarteret College
2. Ojea Sheckleford, Manchester High
3. Milaika Onywere, Victor Dixon High
4. Kasheem Wiseman, Crosskeys High
5. Kashawn Reid, Woodands Primary
Ojea Sheckleford, Manchester High
Britnay Allen, DeCarteret College