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May 28, 2014

Kimmie Collins two points shy of advancing to National Spelling Bee semifinals

WASHINGTON —  For the second year in a row, Kimmie Collins successfully spelled her words during Rounds 2 and 3 of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

And, she improved her overall score from last year. The score incorporates on-stage spelling, computer-based spelling questions and computer-based vocabulary questions.

But Collins, an eighth-grader at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, fell two points shy of progressing to the semifinals this year.

Forty-six spellers advanced to semi-finals, and the score needed to advance was 28; Kimmie’s score was 26.

“I’m okay,” she said, soon after she learned the results early this evening. “I’m really disappointed I didn’t make it to semifinals.”

She worked very hard to make a return trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee this year — and her goal also was to advance to semifinals.

“I’ve been told the test was much harder than last year,” she said.

Despite her disappointment, the 14-year-old said her two trips to the national spelling bee  “have been an absolutely amazing experience. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world — even the hours I’ve put in studying.”

She thanked all those who have helped her — friends, family and people at school. “Everyone has been so supportive,” she said.

And she still made the world stage just by participating in the national bee. She was interviewed by the Washington Post and other media outlets. “That was awesome,” she said.

Her mother, Debbie, told the Tribune-Star, “We’re very proud of her. She’s worked really hard and had a lot of fun. She’s met a lot of people; it’s definitely been a great experience.”

Earlier in the day, Kimmie made it out of Round 2 by spelling the word “dreidel,” which is a four-sided toy used in a game of chance. In Round 3, she successfully spelled the word “shenanigans.”

Kimmie, the Wabash Valley Regional Spelling Bee champion, qualified for the national competition for the second year in a row.


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