A Missoula eighth-grader has won the state geography bee and a trip to next month's 2011 National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C.

Claire Hinther of Target Range School won last weekend's bee in Billings over 95 other fourth- through eighth-graders who competed. Not only is she the state's champ but she is also the 2011 Missoula County Spelling Bee Champ.

The national competition will be held May 24-25 at the National Geographic headquarters.

Hinther's prizes also include $100 cash, a pair of binoculars and a digital copy of every National Geographic magazine to date.

Hugh Cole of Scobey was second while third place went to Sam Bittner of Sacajawea Middle School in Bozeman.

Story from the Associated Press