Colorado kids compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Fifteen Coloradans participate in record-breaking bee

Posted 6/3/19

The week of May 26 saw 562 students travel to Maryland for the Scripps National Spelling Bee — but for second-time national competitor Lauren Guo, 13, the trip was becoming a tradition. “I’ve …

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Colorado kids compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Fifteen Coloradans participate in record-breaking bee

Posted

The week of May 26 saw 562 students travel to Maryland for the Scripps National Spelling Bee — but for second-time national competitor Lauren Guo, 13, the trip was becoming a tradition.

“I’ve just always been good at spelling,” said the Arvada resident, who represented Wayne Carle Middle School in the bee. “I study during as much spare time as I have, usually every day.”

Guo and her competitors qualified for the bee by placing in a regional competition. The national competition consisted of a preliminary test and 20 rounds of on-stage spelling, breaking a record when eight champions were crowned after the competitors advanced through the entirety of the list prepared for the competition.

“I’m so shocked about that,” Guo said. “This year was so competitive.”

Fifteen of this year’s spellers came from Colorado schools, correctly spelling words including executrix, proclitic and labradoodle as the rounds continued.

Though the bee was held when many students had already begun their summer break, students and teachers have still been cheering the spellers on, said principal Anthony Barela of Sunset Middle School. Eighth-grader Henry Stauch represented the school at the competition.

“We’ve been in contact with the family to make sure they know they have the community’s support,” Barela said. “Henry is really self-driven and has done an amazing job.”

Likewise, principal John McCluskey of Centennial Middle School praised the school’s representative, sixth-grader Bella Brown, for her accomplishments in the bee.

“She represents the school really well academically and as a whole person,” he said. “She’s very humble and hardworking.”

Two Colorado students — Guo and Cameron Keith from Boulder Valley School District — joined 48 others in the finals of the bee, which began in round 4. Both students advanced to round 5, where Guo was eliminated on the word “lychnoscope” and Keith was eliminated on “eschalot.”

For Guo, the trip to Maryland allowed not only for a chance to show her spelling skills, but also a chance to make memories with her mother and father.

“It’s a lot of fun to be here,” she said. “There’s plenty of extra time to do things.”

Having made it through her second national spelling bee and through middle school, Guo had advice for upcoming competitors.

“It’s not really about who you’re competing against,” she said. “Focus on your word.”

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