West Linn 12-year-old goes 14 rounds to win Tribune/Comcast spelling bee
Natalie Cha from Three Rivers Charter School in West Linn correctly spelled geniculate to win the 2015 Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday in Portland.
Cha, 12, defeated 50 other spelling champions to win the contest. She heads to Washington, D.C., in May for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Cha triumphed after 14 nail-biting rounds of increasingly difficult words. The runner up, Vipanchi Mungara, tripped up on the word winze, which is a vertical or deeply inclined opening connecting parts of a mine. Mungara is an 11-year-old from Carden Cascade Academy in Hillsboro.
Chas secret to her spelling super power?
She reads a lot, her mother, Stephanie, said. We read her the Your Baby Can Read books starting at about six months, and by two years she was recognizing words.
Cha repeatedly asked for the origin of her assigned spelling words. The language of origin helps a lot, she said.
The spelling champ is looking forward to her expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Cha, who has never been to the nations capital, is most excited about the actual spelling bee, rather the sights.
Thatll be super-cool, she said of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Many of the spellers were eliminated early in the bee, which lasted nearly two hours. The first round saw seven fall and in the second round, another 11 were eliminated.
By the end of Round 6, only four girls and one boy were left to spell.
Two-time winner Divya Amirtharaj, 13, from Meadow Park Middle School, Beaverton, was stumped this year in Round 9 by the word orrery. During each of the last two years, Amirtharaj made it through three rounds at the national spelling bee.
Manasi Sridhar, 14, from Hazlebrook Middle School, got tripped up on the word assassinate. Luc Ta, 12, from Thomas Fowler Middle School, was knocked out by Muzak.
At the beginning of Round 10, just Cha and Mungara were left. They spelled a string of words, including effete, Appolo and nonuple. To win, the final speller must spell two words in a row correctly.
Cha had an impressive cheering section. Both sets of Chas grandparents one from California and the other from Michigan were on hand to watch her victory.
The bragging rights come with the trip to Washington D.C., a $100 American Express gift certificate from Comcast, a Websters Third New International Dictionary, and a one-year subscription to the Encyclopedia Britannica Online Student Edition.
Chas advice for improving your spelling? Read a lot. It is a fun way to learn new words, she said.
Shasta Kearns Moore contributed to this report.Add a comment