Written by Colleen Maidhof Saturday, 22 February 2014 00:00
Herricks Middle School student Austin Tian competed Sunday, Feb. 10 at the third annual Hofstra Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee.
Like many others, Tian, 13, was nervous before the spelling began, but he braved the stage and correctly spelled the words “magnolia” and “kavya.” He was knocked out of the competition as the words got even tougher, but he enjoyed the whole experience.
“The competition is very exciting,” he said. “I’ve been spelling ever since third grade. I love to read, and spelling correctly comes naturally to me.”
The intense day began at 9 a.m. with a written exam. After, the students marched onto the stage, and they patiently waited to be called to the microphone to spell a word at random from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Every student wanted the chance to compete in the nationals. The national winner last year received an array of prizes including a $30,000 cash prize, a trophy and a $2,500 U.S. savings bond.
About one-third of the students were eliminated after only the preliminary round, which consisted of spelling one word.