SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- These young teens were anything but "overwhelmed" by the moment.
Thirty of them "unerringly" advanced from their junior high school competitions to advance to the Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee where only the "fiercest" competitors remained.
The words in quotations above were among those that put these bright adolescents to the test.
After the ninth word, "pentalogy," the first cut was made and ten competitors remained. Five words later, "aeronautic" narrowed the field to the final three.
After all three correctly spelled "cadences" and "dechlorinate," the competition came to a head with the word "idolatrous."
Victoria Chen was the only competitor of the remaining three to spell the word correctly, making the 8th grader from Goleta Valley Junior High School the county spelling bee champion for a second consecutive year.
Laguna Blanca 8th grader Katherine Ball earned second place by correctly spelling the word "biscuit."
Ball and Chen will move on to represent Santa Barbara County at the state spelling bee. Santa Barbara Junior High 7th grader Owen Hennessee finished third.