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Eighth grader Sean K. Ives wins Indiana Geographic Bee in back-to-back victory



INDIANAPOLIS — For the second year in a row, Sean K. Ives will represent Indiana in the National Geographic Bee finals.

Ives, an eighth grader from Trinity Lutheran School in Crown Point, took top honors at the 2014 Indiana state-level Geographic Bee held today at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The state winner will receive $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the finals at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19-21.

Thomas C. Gatewood, a seventh grader from Western Middle School in Russiaville, placed second after missing two questions in the final round.

Benjamin W. Foley, a seventh grader from Tri-North Middle School in Bloomington, placed third.

“I really enjoyed the nationals last year so it feels great,” Ives said when asked about his back-to-back state championship. “I really wanted to do it, so I worked for it.”

Having won last year, he knew what to expect going into this year’s competition, he said.

“It was more pressure on me.  I knew I had to have a perfect score in the preliminaries. I knew I could miss no more than one (question) in the finals,” Ives said.

For the second consecutive year, Ives will also represent Indiana in the Scripps Spelling Bee nationals, having won the Kankakee Valley REMC Final Spelling Bee, the regional competition for students in Lake, Porter and LaPorte, in March.

One hundred fourth- through eighth-graders qualified for this year’s state-level Geographic Bee competition. The top 10 contestants from a preliminary round faced off in the final round during which competitors were eliminated after two incorrect questions.

The National Geographic Bee is organized by the National Geographic Society. This year’s state sponsors are Google and Plum Creek.

The state bee is organized by Geography Educators Network of Indiana, based at IUPUI. Pictures of the winners are to be posted on the GENI website