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Jan. 14—MARIETTA — "Covenant" was the word Malcolm Nichols spelled to win the Marietta City Schools spelling bee Friday morning. Joy Gross, a student at the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, was runner-up.
The 10-year-old student, who attends the Marietta Center of Advanced Academics, beat out competitors who had won their school spelling bees at Marietta Middle and each of the district's elementary schools.
"We are thrilled for him," said Malcolm's mother, Monica Fambrough. "He studied and he was prepared and he did a great job. All the kids did a great job, it's such a nerve-wracking thing to watch, I can't imagine getting up on stage and doing it, so we're really proud of him."
This was Malcolm's first time in the district spelling bee, though he had competed in school spelling bees before. The champ told the MDJ he did most of his studying in the last few days before the competition.
"I feel great, I never thought I would be able to be here," Nichols said. "It's just amazing. It's hard to put into words, but I was shaking the whole time I was spelling the final word."
Other words competitors were asked to spell include "impolite," "fetlocks," "herbalist," "larkspur," "brocade," "porcine," "bantlings," "adduced," "phenomenal" and "Darwinism."
"He was inspired by (Georgia football quarterback) Stetson Bennett," joked Travis Nichols, Malcolm's father. "He's very cool under pressure. All those kids were good spellers."