CONYERS -- The third time was a charm. But then again, so were the first and second times.
Super speller Jazz Duncan won the Rockdale County Spelling Bee for the third consecutive year -- and in record time.
After only three rounds of spelling between the county's top spellers in fourth through eighth grades, Duncan was declared the victor again at the Edwards Middle School event.
"I was hoping I was going to win," said Duncan, an eighth-grader at Memorial Middle School. "But I didn't know how everyone else was going to be."
Duncan had to spell only five words during the competition -- "article," "quarantine," "patience," "centennial" and "accomplice."
She said they were pretty easy words to spell.
"It was very short," she said about the competition, adding that her class spelling competition lasted only about two minutes because most of the class didn't want to compete against her.
In the first round of competition, four players were eliminated, followed by seven in the second round.
In Round 3, only Duncan spelled her given word correctly out of the three remaining contestants, but her parents, David and Heather Duncan, protested because of how the judges were interpreting the rules -- national Scripps Spelling Bee rules differ when two spellers are left in the competition and when only one contestant in a round spells a word correctly.
In the end, the judges ruled that Duncan would be given the last misspelled word from the last remaining contestant -- "centennial," which Duncan spelled correctly, along with the next word, "accomplice," to win the event.
"We've been through this so many times, so we know the procedures," Heather Duncan said.
Their son Jaire, who is now in the 10th grade at the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, won the county competition twice when he was in elementary and middle school. Their other daughter Zora, a sixth-grader at Memorial Middle, was the runner-up in the county competition last year. Their other son David, who is in seventh grade, has been an alternate speller for the county competition in the past and placed fourth in the school Bee this year, after his sisters placed first and second.
Jazz Duncan said the misinterpretation of the rules made her nervous.
"It kind of scared me a little," she said, adding that she already was nervous since this was the first year she was not competing against one of her siblings.
"It was kind of strange to me without one of them on stage with me," she said.
Still, most of her family was in the audience supporting her.
"I'm so absolutely proud of her," her mother said, adding that she's also had to deal with science fair and social studies projects last week.
Carlos Haynes, an eighth-grader from Conyers Middle School, was the runner-up in this year's county Bee.
"We applaud all of the students for having the nerve to do this," said Audrey Champion, one of the Bee organizers. "They're all winners."
Each contestant received a medal, a souvenir picture and a goody bag filled with candy and school supplies. The winner and runner-up also received trophies.
Duncan will go on to compete at the district Spelling Bee, which is at 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at Mundy's Mill Middle School in Clayton County. Until then, she will continue to study new words and spelling lists with the rest of her family.
She won the region Bees over the last two years, earning a chance to compete at the state level. She placed fourth in the state her first year and made it to Round 11 last year.