WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Washington County, Tennessee students went head-to-head on Monday, Feb. 6, at the school district’s first countywide spelling bee in more than a decade.

A release from the Washington County Department of Education says the contest happened in the district office’s main conference room and consisted of two age groups: elementary and middle schoolers.

Both a first-place winner and runner-up were crowned in each age group. School district leaders told News Channel 11 this is a great non-athletic event for students to compete in.

“This is one of the nice opportunities for them to compete that’s not athletic. An opportunity to compete academically,” said Jeff Gray a teacher of special assignments and secondary curriculum. “And it’s one that’s a nice playing field. We have several fifth graders who beat the eighth graders. We have several second graders to beat the fourth graders. So it’s a nice, even playing field for them.”

In the elementary division, James Plucker of Ridgeview Elementary took home the top spot, with James Phillippe, also of Ridgeview, scoring runner-up. Plucker’s winning word was ‘poppet’.

Then, after 25 strenuous rounds, Connor Davis of Ridgeview emerged victorious over runner-up Cooper Bravo of Jonesborough Middle School. Davis’ winning word was ’emblem’.

The school-level winners at each of the county’s middle schools will participate in the regional competition in Knoxville, then that winner will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.