17:07 PM

It was C-L-O-S-E

It all came down to a tiebreaker.

In the end, Menahga sixth-grader Greta Alajoki was named champion of the virtual 2021 Regional Spelling Bee, hosted by Sourcewell.

Alajoki moves on to compete June 27 in the semifinals, which determines the top students to advance to finals at the July 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Orlando.

The top three regional finishers were:

  • Champion - Greta Alajoki, sixth grade, Menahga
  • Runner-up - Chloe Leeseberg, eighth grade, Wadena-Deer Creek
  • 2nd Runner-up - Arabella Moore, eighth grade, Staples-Motley

Each year, Sourcewell hosts the Regional Spelling Bee. For 2021, the Scripps National Spelling Bee developed a virtual platform for schools and sponsors that allowed bees to be held safely and securely via online tests. Each participant in the regional bee was a finalist in his or her respective district and was given a 24-hour window to complete the 30-minute regional bee exam.

The finals will be broadcast live on ESPN2 platforms July 8, 2021.


Congratulations to all regional spelling bee participants:

  • Mariana Hansel, Gr 6, Bertha-Hewitt
  • Beverly Rentz, Gr 6, Holy Trinity, Little Falls
  • Myla Ballou, Gr 5, Mary of Lourdes, Little Falls
  • Ben Henry, Gr 8, Mary of Lourdes, Little Falls
  • Mariesa Schutz, Gr 7, Mary of Lourdes, Little Falls
  • Greta Alajoki, Gr 6, Menahga
  • Grant Sclagel, Gr 6, Pequot Lakes
  • Autumn Hecker, Gr 8, Pequot Lakes
  • Hunter Woidyla, Gr 8, Pillager
  • Violette Metz, Gr 7, Pillager
  • Shaunn Reyes, Gr 6, Pine River-Backus
  • Kate Hoheisel, Gr 5, Pierz
  • Alex Rybaski, Gr 6, Pierz
  • William Rausch, Gr 5, Royalton
  • Allee Roberts, Gr 8, Sebeka
  • Arabella Moore, Gr 8, Staples-Motley
  • Emma Kurowski, Gr 8, Swanville
  • Chole Leeseberg, Gr 8, Wadena-Deer Creek