Spelling bee champ prepares for regionals

The reigning spelling bee champion is gearing up for a regional competition this month, but in the meantime she has been studying.

Wapakoneta Middle School seventh-grader Loren Hire, who napped the top spot at the school’s annual spelling bee, moves on to compete in the regional contest on March 23 in Lima.

“The school gave me a spelling packet, and it tells of different origins of words,” Hire said of a list of words she has been studying to prepare for the competition.

In December when Hire won the middle school spelling bee, she said she was excited, but she was also a bit surprised.

“It’s hard when you get up there to spell because you get nervous and your brain stops working right,” Hire said after the spelling bee.

She said since she has been practicing with her mother, Tracey, in her free time.

“I’m nervous,” Hire said of how she feels about the regional competition. “I don’t think I’m ready yet.”

From the regional contest, top winners will travel to Washington D.C. to compete. Hire is keeping that in mind, but said she has one goal for the regional competition.

“I just want to do my best,” Hire said.

Another thing Hire is looking forward to this month is a spring sport in which she will be participating.

“I’m doing track this year,” Hire said.

She said she will be doing short distance events, including sprints.

Practice for the 13-year-old begins Friday.

“I’ve tried other sports before and I thought I would try this,” Hire said.

In school, Hire said she enjoys her math class.

“I like math because I just think its interesting to learn the logic of it,” Hire said. “It comes easy to me.”

A hobby of Hire’s is reading, and her favorite series of books are Harry Potter and Divergent.

When it comes to books being turned into movies, she said she enjoys reading the book first and then watching the movie.

“I love the movie ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ ” Hire said, “but that’s because I like the book a lot.”

“The Hunger Games” in another movie she saw after reading the book.

Hire is currently in choir and wants to continue that in high school.

“I’m excited about going to high school next year,” Hire said.

The daughter of Tracey and Patrick Hire enjoys spending time with her friends in her spare time.

She has one sister, Chole, 19, and one brother, Riley, 18, and she also has two dogs, Holly and Nelly.

The 13-year-old has two jobs, which are baby-sitting and helping her grandmother clean houses.

The seventh-grader plans to attend college after high school graduation, but she is not sure what she wants to study.

After high school, the Wapakoneta native is not sure if she wants to come back to Wapakoneta or live somewhere else, but she knows one thing for sure.

“I don’t want to live in a big city,” Hire said.

Hire grew up in Wapakoneta her whole life, and she likes how the city is not too big, yet not too small.

“It’s a good size,” Hire said. “When I go off to college I’ll miss the community and my parents.”