AP NEWS

Finding the right words

March 3, 2018

Local speller is preparing for national spelling bee

Community spelling bee champion Sophia Grierson is working hard to prepare for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May, and she even has a huge new dictionary for help.

“I’m going to try to do two letter sections every week — probably 300 pages a week,” Sophia said, adding that she should finish the dictionary at that rate just about the time the national spelling bee begins in Washington, D.C.

“I’m really excited to go to Washington, D.C., and I want to do well at the spelling bee,” she said. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity.”

Sophia earned that trip by winning the 21st annual Ludington Daily News Spelling Bee Feb. 20. To do that, she had to outlast 53 other spellers who finished in first or second place for their schools in grade levels 5 through 8.

In the second round, 15 contestants were eliminated. Round three reduced the number of spellers by 10.

Round four started with 12 spellers, which was then cut to three after the fifth round.

In the second round, 15 contestants were eliminated. Round three reduced the number of spellers by 10.

Round four started with 12 spellers, which was then cut to three after the fifth round.

O.J. DeJonge Middle School sixth-grader Jack Johnson came in fifth place, Mason County Central seventh-grader Charlie Banks took fourth place and Ludington Area Catholic sixth-grader Jack Jubar earned third place.

Then came a four-round matchup between Grierson and second-place contestant Nathaniel Seymour, who is an eighth-grader at LAC.

Seymour and Sophia competed through three head-to-head rounds, with Sophia correctly spelling relevant in the seventh round while Seymour correctly spelled piazza.

Sophia then correctly spelled boudoir in the eighth round while Seymour correctly spelled patel.

In the ninth round, Grierson correctly spelled cavalry and Seymour misspelled mole, which is a spicy sauce made with chiles and usually chocolate and served with meat.

Sophia then correctly spelled her 10th-round word, sukiyaki, for the win.

Read the full story in Saturday’s Ludington Daily News print and e-Editions.

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