The Spell Is Broken for Indiana's Top Bee Competitors

10 Years of Spelling Bee Champions

During a tense day of preliminary competition on Wednesday, an 11-year-old girl wiped away tears as she departed the stage at the Washington-area resort after misspelling the word "severance". By Wednesday afternoon, the field had been trimmed to 40 finalists, who will go on to compete on Thursday.

For the first round, the students had an idea of the word they would be getting which judges chose from their study guide. It is an adjective.

"I also love to spell because it's a great way to travel, a great way to meet people, and it's just very enriching". She did not advance to the finals.

But she didn't score high enough on a written grammar and vocabulary test to progress to the next round.

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The preliminary round of the national event was on Tuesday.

“Its a Swedish word, but pronounced like ‘desmond, which is how he spelled it, ” said Chris Pawlicki, Brendans father.

At least 20 states have spellers in Thursday's final, but the Golden State may take the crown.

Spellers could earn up to 36 points during the Preliminaries - up to 30 points on the preliminary test, three points for correctly spelling in round two and three points for correctly spelling in round three. She spelled tarsier - a small nocturnal animal of the Malay Archipelago with large round eyes, long legs and a long, almost hairless tail.

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The finals are now being broadcast on ESPN 2. The victor will get cash and prizes totaling more than $43,000.

Despite taking care of business in the on-stage spelling rounds, she failed to reach the finals of the competition.

While Waynesboro resident Riley Hamp spelled all of her words perfectly on Wednesday, her competition kept her from moving on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals.

Miller said he hopes to compete again next year.

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The 14-year-old eighth-grader from Lubbock Christian School advanced to the national bee after he won the 66th A-J Media Regional Spelling Bee in March.

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