November 19 2017

Finals of National Spelling Bee begin with 40 elite spellers

November 19 2017, 12:51 | Rex Rios

Finals of National Spelling Bee begin with 40 elite spellers


VanWynsberghe's first word was "regurgitant" which is defined as characterized by, allowing or being a backward flow. Spellers can earn three points for a word spelled correctly in each round, for a total of 36 points.

She came, she saw, she spelled. Each of the 291 spellers got the opportunity to spell two words on stage.

Organizers determined the finalists based on their on-stage spelling Wednesday and their performance on the written spelling and multiple-choice vocabulary test they took on Tuesday, Miller said.

In Round 3, Mills, Lucas Mooney, of Martinsburg, Andrew Gould, of Clarksburg, and Devesh Shah, of Wheeling, spelled their words correctly, making all three contenders for finals. If there is a tie at the end of the bee, the speller with the better score on the written test will be named the champ.

Whoever takes the title, he or she will be the first outright victor in a while.

Among the words that tripped up other spellers Wednesday were licentious, thimblerig, jeepney, fissile and emulsify.

As for preparation for Thursday's finals?

Rajeev wakes up at 5:30 being practicing spelling, spending time with his spelling coach and time with his dad, Rajeev Muralidharan.

"A 6-year-old, sitting in one place, not interacting with anybody, for two hours is the equivalent of torture", said her father, Justin Fuller.

The New Mexico Spelling Bee covers most of the state except for some southern cities that also compete with some west Texas schools.

Fort Worth student Will Lourcey aced the spelling of "fallacy" and "Ruritanian" on Wednesday, but it wasn't enough for him to advance to the finals of the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Sylvia said she hopes for a return trip to Washington next year, but not necessarily as a competitor.

Those eliminated include 6-year-old Edith Fuller of Tulsa, Okla., the bee's youngest-ever speller.

When about only 10 spellers remain, the competition will pause until the primetime finale.

To prepare for the national bee, Edith has been doing 20-minute study sessions as often as five times a day.

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