INDIANAPOLIS | Just call Sean Ives' geography and spelling talents bee-utiful.
For the second year in a row, Ives, an eighth-grader at Trinity Lutheran School in Crown Point, has pulled off the two-bee sweep, winning the state championship in the Scripps Spelling Bee nationals earlier this year and repeating as the state champion in the Geographic Bee on Friday in Indianapolis.
Friday's competition was at Indiana University-Purdue University, and Ives' victory earned him $100, plus an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters May 19 to 21.
"I really enjoyed the nationals last year, so it feels great," Sean said about his repeat. "I really wanted to do it, so I worked for it. It was more pressure on me. I knew I had to have a perfect score in the preliminaries. I knew I could miss no more than one (question) in the finals."
Second place in the geography competition went to Thomas Gatewood, a seventh-grader from Western Middle School in Russiaville. Benjamin Foley, a seventh-grader at Tri-North Middle School in Bloomington, grabbed third.
A total of 100 students in fourth through eighth grade qualified for the state finals in the Geographic Bee with the top 10 from the preliminary round squaring off in the finals, where it took two incorrect answers to be eliminated.
Ives won the spelling title in the Kankakee Valley REMC Final Spelling Bee in March for students in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.