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Park City Sends Two Spellers to National Bee

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Scripps National Spelling Bee

It was a record-breaking and exhausting night at the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday.  This year Park city School District sent two students to the National Bee. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher has more.

For the first time in the 94-year history of the spelling bee, eight winners were named as co-champions in the marathon competition. The only loser may have been the dictionary which just didn’t have tough enough words to eliminate the spellers.  Bee Pronouncer Jacques Bailly said they had entered “uncharted territory” and called the winners “the most phenomenal assemblage of spellers” in the history of the storied competition.

As the evening wore on, the decision was made that whoever was still standing through Round 20, would be named as co-champion. All eight of the finalists correctly spelled their words through the final 3 rounds and will each receive a $50,000 cash prize and a Scripps Cup – making it the most expensive bee as well.

Park City sent two spellers to the annual competition.  Ecker Hill 6th grader Emilia Lytle won a spot in the national bee competition after winning the local Park Record Bee in March. Her father Eric told KPCW she went out in Round 2 when she was stumped by the word dubonnet,  a noun with a French origin, meaning a sweet wine-based aperitif. Even after her quick exit, he said Emilia still had a good time at the Bee.

Her classmate Connor Greally a 7th grader at Ecker qualified for the Bee through the RSVBee program – an invitational program  that started before the 2018 Bee to provide an opportunity for more spellers to participate in the national finals. Connor made it to Round 3 and went out when he misspelled fluviatic – an adjective meaning living or growing in streams.  

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.