Success is Spelled: N-E-W-C-O-M-B-E

UPDATE: Laura Newcombe performed admirably, but misspelled her final word after some confusion over its pronunciation. It turned out she knew the work once she understood the proper pronuciation. Laura finished a very respectable 5th overall. Congrats to here.

Laura Newcombe competes at the Scripps National Spelling Bee

If you are looking to fill the sporting void between the Stanley Cup Final, the NBA Finals, the upcoming World Cup and almost perfect games in baseball check out the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Canada is represented by 11 year-old Laura Newcombe from Toronto. Laura is the undisputed, two-time, defending champion of the Canwest Canspell National Spelling Bee, and as such represents Canada at Scripps.

Coverage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee semi-final can be seen live on ESPN at 10 pm ET and on TSN at 2 pm ET. The finals will be broadcast live on both ABC and TSN at 8 pm ET.

Laura joined 47 other competitors in the semi-finals that got underway this morning (June 4, 2010) at 10 pm ET and looks poised to challenge for a spot in the finals later this evening. She hopes to improve on her 17th placing from last year, but has certainly already accomplished a great deal.

So far, Laura has passed through the secretive written preliminary round and into round 7. Here is the list of what she has had to spell by round:

Round 2: rudimentary ([roo-duh-men-tuh-ree, -tree] – of or relating to basic facts or principles; elementary)
Round 3: suffraginis* ([sə-ˈfraj-ə-nəs] – the long bone of the pastern that is a common site of fracture in racehorses)
Round 4: thalassian* ([Tha*las”si*an] – any sea tortoise)
Round 5: nematodiasis* ([nem-ə-(ˌ)tō-ˈdī-ə-səs] – infestation with or disease caused by nematode worms)
Round 6: scrannel ([skran-l] – 1. thin or slight. 2. squeaky or unmelodious.)

*Laura should go work for my spellchecker as it does not recognize these words.

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