Kerry-Ann Hepburn, Children's Own Coordinator
Spanish Town, St Catherine
It was the biggest turnout so far at the Spanish Town Methodist Church. Sixty-one spellers turned up for the spelldown to determine who would be the champion for St Catherine. The first hour saw the numbers dwindle and by lunchtime, the favourites stood out.
It was under an overcast sky that the top five were announced and the audience was just as anxious as the spellers.
Top girl Aundrene Cameron of Portmore Missionary Prep and Kymani Marsh, St Jago High, were the last two standing, and by then it was anybody's game. An audible gasp could be heard from the audience as Aundrene misspelt B-R-A-V-U-R-A, but she was not out yet as Kymani had to correctly spell that word and the final word, S-T-U-C-C-O to win.
After confirmation that the word was indeed correct, 13-year-old Kymani ran into the arms of his coach.
Amid the applause and congratulations, the parish champion said: "First, I would like to thank God and my coach. He has been there for me."
Spell coach at McCauley Primary, Errol Campbell, was elated that his charge copped the top spot.
"I am happy for him and he will definitely be seen at nationals."
Kymani is a past student of the primary school and, after finishing 14th last year, started training only two weeks ago and is now the 2012 parish champion for St Catherine.
When asked how he felt, he said, "I feel very, very great!"
1. Kymani Marsh - St Jago High
2. Aundrene Cameron - Portmore Missionary Prep
3. Javane Johnson - St Catherine High
4. Tassia Reid - St Catherine High
5. Jehu Bent - McCauley Primary