Top spellers at Century are bright and young

Winning words for sixth grader Jordan Harding were "ransacked" and "trodden."

Century spelling bee winners 2022
Taking home top prizes in this year's Century Middle School spelling bee, Jan. 19, 2022 at Park Rapids Area High School, are fifth grader Jesse Simmons, third place (at left); sixth grader Jordan Harding, first place; and fifth grader Elsie Forbes, second place.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Competing among 22 finalists from grades 5-8 in Wednesday night’s Century Middle School spelling bee, the top three spellers included a sixth grader and two fifth graders.

Sponsored by the Park Rapids Century PTA, the bee took place in the high school auditorium with pronouncer Jeremy Nelson and judges Lora Nelson and RaNae Doll.

In a nine-round contest spanning more than an hour, spelling words included wattles, invigorating, wreaked, technique, dutifully, emboldened, contessa, renowned and cardigan.

Third-place speller Jesse Simmons, a fifth grader, faltered in the eighth round with the word “corridor.”

In the final round, fifth grader Elsie Forbes ran into trouble with “instinctive.” Sixth-grader Jordan Harding then correctly spelled “ransacked” and “trodden” for the championship.


The top three winners received Amazon gift cards – $50 for Simmons, $75 for Forbes and $100 for Harding. Harding also won a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica, and both Forbes and Harding will advance to the regional spelling bee Feb. 8 in Thief River Falls.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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