Scripps Ranch 13-year-old eliminated in National Spelling Bee

SCRIPPS RANCH (CNS) – A 13-year-old girl from Scripps Ranch failed to advance to the semifinals of the 87th Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland, despite correctly spelling both of her words on stage Wednesday.

Allison Grace Grygar took to the stage at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and correctly spelled diphthong, a gliding monosyllabic sound, in the bee’s second round and melismatic, relating to or having melodic embellishment or ornamentation, in the third round.

Spellers who correctly spell both words in the second and third rounds then have their scores from Tuesday’s computer-based spelling and vocabulary test plotted on a chart until a maximum of 50 has been attained.

The test, which is considered the bee’s first round, consisted of two dozen spelling questions and 26 multiple-choice vocabulary questions, with a dozen of the spelling questions and 14 of the vocabulary questions counted toward the speller’s score.

Scores from the test were not released.

Before the semifinalists were announced, Allison told City News Service she did “all right” on the spelling and vocabulary test.

“It’s hard to know because they won’t be grading every question,” Grygar said. “A couple of the (spelling) words I had no idea,” Grygar said. “Some of them I heard multiple times.”

On the vocabulary questions “there were a few words that I just had to make an educated guess about,” she said. “Some of them were different forms of words I had heard before or they had similar roots. I feel a little less confident about the vocabs than the spelling.”

The bee is intended “to inspire children to improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives,” according to Paige Kimble, the bee’s executive director and 1981 champion. It is limited to students in eighth grade or below, with contestants ranging in age from 8 to 15 years old.

The initial field consisted of students who won locally sponsored bees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense schools in Europe.

Seven foreign nations were also represented — the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.

The winner will receive $30,000 from Scripps, which owns television stations and newspapers; a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and complete reference library from the dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster; and $1,200 in reference works from Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Categories: KUSI