Severn River Middle School eighth-grader Robin Roper outlasted 31 other champion spellers today to win the 25th annual Anne Arundel County Spelling Bee and earn a trip to the national competition later this year.

Robin correctly spelled the word “wafflestomper,” a hiking boot with a lug sole, in the 39th round to win the title. Her win capped an incredible 27-round duel with defending champion and fellow eighth-grader Olivia Simmons of Bates Middle School, who finished second. The two eighth-graders battled over words like “langlauf,” “troika,” panglossian,” and “mynheer” for more than an hour.

The bee is a partnership of Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the 21st Century Education Foundation. This year’s Event Sponsor was the Josephine B. Scheffenacker Education Trust.  Champion Sponsors were Capital-Gazette Communications and ClearEdge IT Solutions.  Awards Sponsors were Daly Computers, Koch Homes and Office Depot.  

Promise Ohanyerenwa of Meade Middle School finished third.

Robin will represent Anne Arundel County at the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee in May. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a not-for-profit educational promotion sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company in conjunction with businesses and community organizations around the world. Each sponsor organizes a spelling bee program in its community with the cooperation of area school officials: private, charter, parochial, public, and home schools.

All of today’s spellers received a prize bag that contains assorted gift items, a commemorative poster, a certificate, and a $25 gift card from the 21st Century Education Foundation. The top three finishers each received trophies and additional cash prizes.

Robin also won a one-year subscription to the Britannica Online for Kids, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and a Samuel Louis Sugarman Award certificate and savings bond donated by Jay Sugarman in honor of his father, a lifelong advocate of education.

Robin also received a Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary donated by Merriam-Webster, and an gift certificate.