WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC NEWS) – Local spelling bee winners Annabelle Day of Boardman, who won the Vindicator bee, and Marie Wallie of Warren winner of the Tribune Chronicle Bee, competed this week at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.
This is 13-year-old Annabelle’s second appearance at the competition.
“I’m nervous. I’m just hoping I get a word that I know and I can figure out,” Annabelle said.
According to Annabelle, the key to making it this far in the Bee boils down to one thing – studying.
“I just study a lot. I have a folder, and we make lists with it,” Annabelle said.
15-year-old Marie Wallie says she studies a lot too, but she also has an advantage. She’s a legacy participant. Her mom, Carolyn, competed too. In 1971 she placed third.
“I don’t think the words were nearly as hard. These words today I have to say I was writing them down and some of them were so hard,” Carolyn said.
Annabelle’s dad, Dr. Ronald Wallie, says he only came along to be supportive.
“For me this was torture to listen to people spell words all day long, but I did think it was pretty interesting, especially to see how these little ones just 9 or 10 spell words I’ve never heard of,” Wallie said.
This year’s spelling bee brings together 283 participants from nine countries. But according to bee pronouncer Dr. Jacques Bailey, it takes a special ability to make it all the way.
“It takes somebody who can get a question that they have very little idea as to what the answer is to and coolly come up with a good answer because all these kids at some point will get a word they haven’t seen,” Bailey said.
Annabelle and Marie did not make it to the semi-finals. However, both students have a lot to be proud of making it that far.