The Llano High School Spelling and Vocabulary Team took top honors at the UIL Academic State Tournament last Tuesday, May 22, as well as one of their teammates placed first individually. Leading Llano to the State Championship was freshman Kasey Hairston who won first place and a gold medal. Finishing in fourth place was junior Drew Buttery, and just a few words behind were teammates sophomore Necille Nunez and freshman Sterling Owen. With all of their scores so close together, the team amassed 274 points to win the State Championship as a team. Each team member was awarded a large gold medal, plus the team was presented with a large wooden plaque trophy. Only the top three scores are added in this competition.
“This team placed first in District at Burnet High School , first at the Regional Meet in Corpus Christi, and first at State, scoring more points than the 5A State Champions,” reports the team’s coach. “I am so proud that this young team brought a State Championship to Llano High School. I’m also proud of Kasey’s job of winning the State Championship in 3A. What a feat!”
The last team champion in UIL Academics for Llano High School was the Journalism Team in 2007, consisting of Claire Byrnes, Kaleb Schmidt, and Kaitlyn Newell.
For the Spelling/Vocabulary competition, students are given a list of 1500 words to memorize for the spelling section. They are also expected to know the definitions of 300 of these words for the Invitational and District Tournaments. Then at the Regional and State Tournaments, 20% of the words given can be taken the dictionary.
The team plans to celebrate their victories by riding in the Classic Car Show Parade on Saturday, May 26 in downtown Llano. Their next order of business is to have a fun summer vacation to prepare for the outstanding year they hope to have next year, since all team members are returning.