LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas crowned a new spelling bee champion from Sebastian County over the weekend.

Winner Zeeshan Mahmud Anower and Rob Roedel with Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, sponsor for the event, stopped by KARK 4 News to talk about the thrill of the fast-paced wordsmithing that happened last Saturday night.

Approximately 84,350 students from 422 schools in 55 counties across Arkansas have participated in local and county contests leading up to the March State Spelling Bee.

Matt Brodbent of Cross County came in second place during the contest of words, with Carter Metcalf of Marion County taking the third-place spot.

Zeeshan will go on to represent the state at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program which will be held in Maryland.