And the ride comes to an end …

May 27, 2009

A nail-biter of a day at the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee ended with just 41 of the 293 spellers scoring well enough to move to tomorrow’s semi-finals. That’s just 14%, or about one in seven.

Our son Santos had a brilliant day, spelling “contusion” correctly in Round Two and “oscitancy” correctly in Round Three. But, as I mentioned in my stream of bee tweets, it all came down to the Round One written test.

On that, Santos got 20 of the 25 “score” words correct. Earning one point for each of those, plus three points for each word spelled right in Rounds Two and Three, gave him a preliminary score of 26. Alas, this year only spellers with a preliminary score of 28 or better are able to move on.

Wait, you say — weren’t 50 kids supposed to move on to the semis? Better go back and read the Bee rules’ fine print. That’s a “maximum of 50.” For the math proficient, it’s obvious that more than nine spellers scored 27 points in the prelims, and the Bee had to stop at 41.

Later today, we’ll size up the competition for tomorrow. For right now, we’re going to relax and celebrate a great run for Santos. Liz and I are super proud of our boy — who in between last year’s Bee and this year’s has  grown into a fine young man. Not just in height but in character as well.

Here are some of Santos’ thoughts:

Well, it’s over for me. But, I did my best. I also did better than last year. Last year, I only got 14 of 28 preliminary points, but this year I got 26 of 31, so I’m very pleased with myself.

The spelling was extremely tense, but I was able to keep my cool. I was very happy to spell both my words correctly. Getting 84% of possible points is  very good at this competition.

I’m very thankful to God for giving me this gift and to my family, friends, and relatives for supporting me. Thank you to everyone who has paid attention to my Bee journey and offered their support and prayers.

More to come on tomorrow’s rounds, so stay tuned …

Santos gets ready to spell "oscitancy" in Round 3 Wednesday.

Santos gets ready to spell "oscitancy" in Round 3 Wednesday.


5 Responses to “And the ride comes to an end …”

  1. sconstant Says:

    Congrats to him – what a great achievement. Thanks for letting us in on what was going on.

  2. the Bittners Says:

    Hey Santos,

    Way to go! We are so happy that you did so well. Praise the Lord! Also, love that you’re just giving God the glory. You keep that up, ya hear?

    Proud of you in Round Hill!
    Love, the Bitt’s…

  3. aunt re Says:


    You’re a winner any way you look at it…just going to The Bee and taking part in the fantabulous (not sure that is word…) aspects of that world — so proud of you and happy you are having the experience….Have Fun…~~

  4. Mrs. Peacock Says:

    Santos, I’m SO PROUD of you!!! You did really well on your prelim rounds. That was a brutal cut to go from 293 to 41 spellers. It’s too bad they do it like that now.

    I guess one benefit is that all those who go out after Round 3 will have a better ranking than those who competed in years past. So put that on your high school transcript, even though you’re 8th grade this year. It’s an exceptional accomplisment to have made it so far and done so well.

    I know what to do with that void that leaving behnd spelling competition will cause — come do forensics with us through Vector next year!!!

  5. Patrick Says:

    Santos, congrats on getting so far! Really enjoyed reading and hearing about the experience. Have fun watching the rest of the drama downtown!

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