Grace McKeegan, a home-schooled seventh-grader from Steubenville, said she isn't among 40 finalists who will go on to the next round of the bee "but I'm happy with how I did".
Also competing was West Carroll eighth-grader Olivia Charles, of Mount Carroll, who missed her second-round word stephanotis, a genus of flowering plants, by swapping the "a" with an "e". It is an adjective. Her parents got permission from Scripps to let Edith spend some of her time offstage while waiting to spell.
The national preliminaries had 71 students misspell words, leaving 188 competitors to be whittled down based on written tests.
A score of at least 29 was needed on the test to advance to the finals. We had 12 spelling words and 14 vocabulary words.
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.
The finals are scheduled to be on cable channel ESPN 2, channel 63 on the Oneonta Spectrum listings, starting at 10 a.m.
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The first place victor will get $40,000 cash prize and $2,500 United States savings bond; and the second and third winners will get $30,000 and $20,000, respectively.
The other Bay Area speller, Shrinidhi Gopal, was one of 15 who advanced to the evening's prime-time finals after four rounds of on-stage spelling Thursday. This year, 138 females and 153 males competed.
In an earlier round Tuesday, the 13-year-old correctly spelled "Keynesian".
The bee began with 291 spellers from around the country. For each of the past three years, the bee ended in ties after the contestants successfully completed the competition's entire list of words.