Years of preparations boil down to one tense day for the kids who have advanced to the semi-finals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will crown a new champion this evening. After two days of written and oral spelling, the field was whittled down from 275 to 41.
Pennsylvania leads all states with 4 semi-finalists. Topping the list, a returning semi-finalist from 2010. Joanna Ye of Carlisle finished tied for 5th in last year’s national spelling bee. Joining Ye in the field of 41 are fellow Keystone Staters David Krak of Lititz, Anahita Iyer of Doylestown and Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township.
Some of the words spelled correctly in round 3 of the bee included papilionaceous, mynheer and mycetophagous.
The remaining 41 spellers will take to the stage this morning until a field of finalists is set for tonight’s showdown on ESPN. The finals are scheduled to begin at 8:30pm at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in suburban Washington, D.C.