Mesmerize.

Mesmerize.

That was the winning word Friday for Isaac Searle.

Searle, an eighth-grader at Patton Junior High School, won the annual Leavenworth County Spelling Bee.

The Fort Leavenworth student said he was excited after being crowned the county’s top speller.

“I practiced before coming here,” he said.

Searle said he read through the words provided by a school librarian, and his mother quizzed him.

Searle was one of 36 students who competed in Friday’s spelling bee. The students, from grades five through eight, represented schools from across Leavenworth County.

As the winner, Searle will advance to a state spelling bee where he will have a chance to qualify for the National Spelling Bee.

The state spelling bee will take place next month in Wichita.

Elisabeth Wangsgaard, a seventh-grader from Lansing Middle School, finished in second place Friday at the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee.

Wangsgaard said she was happy and excited about finishing in second place.

Like Searle, Wangsgaard said she had studied words ahead of the county spelling bee.

Ava Johnson, a sixth-grader from Fort Leavenworth’s MacArthur Elementary School, finished in third place Friday.

“I did way better than I thought I would do,” she said.

She also had practiced for the bee.

As in year’s past, the county spelling bee was organized by members of the Leavenworth Area Retired School Personnel Association.

“I think it was great,” LARSPA President Pam Bristow said after the event.

This is the 59th year the organization has sponsored the spelling bee.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR