Evelyn Juarez, of Carlos F. Vigil Middle School, won by correctly spelling the Spanish word "bizantinismo," which means excess luxury.
The runner-up, German Rojero of Los Lunas Middle School, misspelled "kanindeyuense," someone from a Paraguayan territory.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the two each spelled about 20 words correctly to defeat nine other students, who hailed from as far away as Oregon and Texas, though most were from New Mexico.
Organizer David Briseno, who heads New Mexico's Association for Bilingual Education, says the state has had a contest since 1994 but he had been dreaming of a national event for years.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com