Elegy. E-L-E-G-Y. That’s the word sixth grader Eva Vega spelled to win the 2016 Charlotte Observer Spelling Bee Monday at ImaginOn.

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I can spell the word “elegy.” I could have won the spelling bee. Well … except for the fact that there were a lot — A LOT — of words before “elegy” that I would have missed. Like “poltroon” (never heard of it), “voortrekker” (what?) and “gesundheit” (bless you).

Kids in eighth grade and younger spelled those words correctly while I sat in the front row as a judge for the first time. All I could do was shake my head in amazement.

Some of these kids were really young. Dhruv Dudhat, who finished second, is in fourth grade.

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Ella Shimkoski, a third grader, could barely reach the microphone but still managed to make it eight rounds. Every time she spelled a word, she grabbed the mic with both hands and put her mouth right up against it. Adorable.

So how do you compare to these kids? Find out by taking the quiz below. For each question, you’ll see the definition and four spelling options. I know this isn’t the same as hearing the word, but it’ll still give you a taste.

Remember: An elementary or middle schooler spelled all of these words correctly. Good luck!

Best of luck to Eva, who will be representing the Charlotte area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Photos: Corey Inscoe; T. Ortega Gaines/Charlotte Observer

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