WASHINGTON – Even though Rachel Lee Hernandez spelled her word correctly in Round 2 of the 77th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee June 2,the Dade City,Fla.,girl was eliminated from the competition.
She got the her word,“manipuri,” correct,but her score on Round 1's written test was not high enough for her to continue. Spellers needed at least 17 points on the test to continue to Round 3.
“Manipuri” refers both to people who live in the Manipur state in India and to a form of dance performed in that region.
Of the 265 original spellers,just 94 advanced to Round 3. By the morning of June 3,46 spellers were left to begin the championship rounds.
The written test was evaluated based on the number of words correctly written from a list of 25.
This part of the competition permitted the spellers to erase and correct any word from the list during a one-hour session.
Rachel,12,a sixth grader who is home schooled,attended the event with her mother,Cheryl Hernandez,and father,Kevin Hernandez. Cheryl Hernandez said they planned to stay for the entire competition to watch the Championship Rounds. They were on their way out of the competition hotel when a reporter caught up to them and did not have time for an interview.
Rachel is considering living as a missionary nun and occupying her life in India when she gets older,according to her official biography in the bee program.