3 Locals Eliminated From National S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G Bee

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Two Los Angeles County students and one from Orange County were eliminated Wednesday from the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Md.

Marika K. Fox, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at St. Nicholas School in Northridge, correctly spelled “hypothalamic” and “segue” in the second and third rounds of the competition, but her score on Tuesday’s 25-word written test left her short of the total needed to advance to the semifinals.

Tin Kuo, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, also spelled two words correctly in today’s rounds — “xyloglyphy” and “cacophony” — but failed to advance.

Talia Rose Ruiz, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Brookhurst Junior High School in Anaheim, missed both words she was given today — “voortrekker” and “Bobadil.”

ESPN will televise the semifinal rounds beginning at 7 a.m. and the championship rounds at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Forty-one of the original field of 275 spellers advanced to the semifinal round.

Throughout the entire competition, ESPN3.com will carry a second “play along” version, featuring the option to view the coverage without graphics so viewers can test their knowledge against the champion spellers.

The bee is limited to students in eighth grade or below, with this year’s original field of contestants ranging in age from 8 to 15 and from third through eighth grades.

Marika said her favorite school subject is math and hopes to be a math teacher. She is a member of her school church choirs, takes flute lessons, dances, enjoys arts and crafts, camping with her Girl Scout troop and reading.

Her favorite book is “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

Tin enjoys reading and playing tennis, chess and video games. His favorite school subject is science and favorite book is “Eragon.”

Talia loves music, spends much of her time playing basketball, working on her school yearbook and acting. Her favorite school subject is science.

The winner of the bee will receive $30,000 from Scripps, which owns television stations and newspapers, a $5,000 scholarship from the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond from the dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster, and reference works from Encyclopaedia Britannica valued at $2,600 and a lifetime membership to Britannica Online Premium and a Nook eReader and online course from K12 Inc.

The original field of spellers consisted of students who won locally sponsored bees in all 50 states, along with American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Schools in Europe. Eight foreign nations are also represented — the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Southern California has produced only one champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which began in 1925 — Anurag Kashyap of Poway, the 2005 winner.

 (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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