Jacob Martin was visibly shaking after he won the Richmond County Spelling Bee on Friday.
“I’m feeling so excited, I could just about burst,” the Freedom Park Elementary School fifth-grader said.
It was Jacob’s first trip to the county bee, and he was aiming high.
“I really just wanted to win to try and go to the national spelling bee,” he said.
His mother, Sarah Martin, said that although Jacob studied hard, “a lot of things come to him pretty naturally.”
“In kindergarten, he had a seventh-grade reading level,” she said. “He read all of the Harry Potter books by the time kindergarten was done.”
Jacob said his most difficult word was “negotiable.”
Winners from each Richmond County elementary and middle school competed in the bee. Jacob won the elementary school spelling bee and faced off against Edward Frails, a seventh-grader at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School, who won the middle school competition.
Edward, last year’s champion, said he studied nearly every day since the beginning of the school year.
After finishing second, a disappointed Edward accepted congratulations and hugs from parents and teachers.
“He’s all right,” said his mother, Elizabeth Frails. “Maybe next year. We have one more year.”
Jacob and Edward received trophies, books and gift certificates to Stevi B’s and Walmart. Jacob also got a plaque and advanced to the regional spelling bee, which will be held at 10 a.m. March 2 in The Augusta Chronicle’s Morris Auditorium.