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IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2008

SENIOR SPELLING DUELING DUO CAPTIVATES ILLINOIS BUILDING CROWD ON SENIOR DAY AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - For nearly half-an-hour today, the two finalists in the Illinois State Senior Spelling Bee dueled.  And, for nearly half-an-hour, neither one flinched.  Dale Jacobs of Chicago Heights, Ill., and Irene Clayton of Princeton, Ill., not only spelled every word correctly, but also answered with little hesitation and rarely even asked for a definition or for their word to be used in a sentence.

WICS Channel 20 anchor Jerry Lambert, moderator of the Senior Citizen's Day event at the Illinois State Fair, even joked he may run out of words and truly hoped he did not get any of the "never-before-heard-of" words in his Five O'clock newscast.

After many rounds, exhausted judges finally conferred and declared a draw, proclaiming Jacobs and Clayton co-champions.  So, the two will share first prize

When interviewed, Clayton said she was very nervous and scared. Her fascination with words comes from reading books.  Jacobs began in a local, BloomTownship spelling bee and then advanced to a regional.  He and his wife, Jean, both participated in the State Senior Spelling Bee, but she was eliminated in an earlier round. Dale said the only other time he had participated in a spelling bee was in eighth grade.
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