WASHINGTON — Elicia Chamberlin,13,wore her lucky socks June 2 in Round 4 of the 77th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. She will wear the red socks again June 3 when she enters Round 5 of the bee that will produce a champion by the end of the day.
After moving to Round 3 by correctly spelling “tellurian,” which means,of,relating to,or inhabiting the earth,and scoring 24 out of a possible 28 points,Elicia aced “reggae” and “rabulistic” in Rounds 3 and 4.
Rabulistic means characterized by railing or pettifoggery.
The pool of 265 children taking the 25-word spelling test June 1 shrank to 94 by Round 3 and to 71 for Round 4. Fewer than 50 young spellers will join Elicia on stage to start the championship rounds.
Elicia,with Shannon Chamberlin,her mother,arrived here from their Wilton. N.H.,home May 30. Steve Chamberlin,Elicia's father,stayed home to look after the cat and dog,said his wife.
The three-day competition concludes June 3 when the last speller can boast of being first in completing the most words,which all can be found in Webster's Third New International Dictionary.
Judges added the written spelling test scores with Round 2 results to produce a threshold score of 17 points for the 94 contestants who advanced to Round 3.
In the days before the start of the oral competition,children ranging from 9 to 15 continued to study in their rooms or in the hotel lobby.
In the hours after the 8 a.m. written spelling test,or Round 1,spellers could be found sitting cross-legged on the lobby floor playing chess. Others sat in the chairs behind them cramming as many words as their minds would allow – reading the 2004 Paideia,the official bee study guide,and surfing the net.
“One girl was studying the dictionary,” Elicia said. The dictionary she spoke of contains 470,000 word entries,according to the official spelling bee Web site.
The quiet seventh-grader,who attends Pine Hill School,has an affinity for the circus arts and is an avid reader of science fiction.
Three months ago,Elicia temporarily put aside activities including basketball,ballet and circus performing practice to focus on the spelling bee.
Elicia,who has studied French since kindergarten,is also learning Russian,her mother said.
“After the spelling bee,I'm going to start taking it up more,” Elicia said.
“I'm so happy for her because I know she wanted it,” Chamberlin said at the conclusion of Round 3.