WASHINGTON – Kirsten Marie Kappelmann had a philosophy for winning the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee,but it didn't work the way she had hoped.
“Keep calm,don't rush,and don't miss a letter” was her aim,Kirsten said after losing in Round 3.
Asked to spell the word yeti,she instead spelled y-e-t-t-i. The word means abominable snowman.
After getting enough points on Round 1's written test and correctly spelling draegerman,in Round 2,the first oral round,Kirsten moved to Round 3. A draegerman is a crew member trained in underground mining rescue work
Kirsten,14,of San Angelo,Texas,was slotted as speller No. 245,forcing her to wait a long time before her name was called.
“I am kind of rooting for them to miss,” she said of the other spellers. “But it is always sad when someone misses,but at the same time I don't want to be the first one to miss.”
Spending that much time under the hot lights with more then a few hundred people in the audience with cameras rolling would make anybody nervous.
But Kirsten knew what to expect. Her sister,Katherine,was a 2005 finalist. She was eliminated before Round 3.
Kirsten called that a big influence.
“That was the reason I wanted to come,because I saw what it was like and I wanted to participate,” she said.
Kirsten and 274 other spellers from across the nation and some other countries gathered here to compete in the 2006 Spelling Bee. Contestants competed for a top prize of $37,500 in cash and scholarships,along with other prizes for the champion's school sponsor and other top finishers.
Thursday's preliminary championship rounds will be televised on ESPN from noon to 3 p.m. EDT. And in a first,the championship rounds will be televised on ABC from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.
Kristin noted that she'll now have time for riding horses,studying piano and reading.
“I'm kind of relieved I don't have to study anymore,” she said.