FLORENCE — Cody Hooper, a student at Ellsworth Elementary School in the J.O. Combs School District, has won the 58th annual Pinal County Spelling Bee.

As the county champion, Cody will represent Pinal at the Arizona Spelling Bee on Saturday.

The first runner-up in the county event, Meledy Moreno, attends Mountain Vista Elementary School in the Oracle School District.

The second runner-up is Lamar Chambers, from Stanfield Elementary School.

The Pinal County Spelling Bee was held in February. This year, due to COVID-19, the event was virtual.

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students and coordinators had to adapt to a virtual format,” a press release from spelling bee coordinators said. “With help from Arizona Educational Foundation, in a few months’ time, the online/virtual platform that was used across the state of Arizona was developed and sent out.”

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.