281 Competitors representing all 50 states, U.S. districts and seven other countries including the Bahamas, China, Jamaica and Japan traveled to the nation’s capital this week to compete in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Three of the almost 300 spellers represent Utah at the bee. Mikayla J. Hall from Rocky Mountain Middle School in Heber City, Grange Monaco Simpson from Albert R. Lyman Middle School in Blanding, and Michael T. Jones representing Indian Hills Middle School in Sandy are competing in the 87th annual bee.
“It’s really rewarding to be able to see the effects of hard work,” said Hall. “I know that everybody here has worked really hard and really wants to be here, and it’s really fun to be with people who share interests that you have and are all willing to put forth the effort to achieve something.”
The computer test preliminary round of the bee took place Tuesday, preliminary rounds two and three happened Wednesday and the semi-final and final rounds will take place Thursday.
Hall said all Utah students made it to round three, but were eliminated before the semi-finals.
“I only spelled two words, one in round two and one in round three,” said Hall. “The word I had to spell in round two was hafiz.”
The National Spelling Bee started in 1925 with nine contestants. This year’s bee started with more than 11 million students participating in classroom, school and locally-sponsored spelling bees. Visit the competition's website for information about how to watch the bee.