MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Ironically, an Edina teenager who made it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals got tripped up by a word meaning “personification of the ultimate fate that gods must yield to.”
Thirteen-year-old Mark Kivimaki, a 7th grader at Valley View Middle School, was among 45 of the nation’s best young spellers in Washington, D.C. for the nerve-jangling semifinal rounds of the Bee.
During round 6, Kivimaki misspelled the word “ananke.” He spelled “ebulliton” correctly during the previous round.
No more than 12 will advance to the finals Thursday evening. They’ll have to spell two words correctly in front of a national television audience and then hope their score on a computerized spelling and vocabulary test is high enough to make the cut.
And it’s not all just about bragging rights. Along with lots of face time, the winner also receives $30,000 dollars and scholarships.
The semifinalists include last year’s third-place finisher, 14-year-old Sriram Hathwar of Corning, New York, and two other finalists from 2013: 12-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, and 13-year-old Syamantak Payra of Friendswood, Texas. Syamantak and 13-year-old Mary Horton of West Melbourne, Florida, tied for highest score on the computer test.
The semifinals are broadcast live on ESPN2.
There were four other spellers from Minnesota in this year’s Spelling Bee.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)