Spelling bee proves to be a real nail-biter

Published on February 24, 2014
Ten-year-old Emily Hynes (left), Erin McDonald, 13, and Erin Walters, 14, wait to start one of the final rounds at the The Telegram Spelling Bee 2014 at Holy Heart of Mary auditorium in St. John’s Saturday afternoon. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Can you spell I-N-T-E-N-S-E? Because that was the atmosphere at The Telegram Spelling Bee at Holy Heart auditorium Saturday.

Grade 5 Holy Trinity Elementary student, Emily Hynes, thought she was knocked out twice, but her competitor also got her word wrong. Emily then found herself going for the title with the word “parabolic.”

 “I was like, she’s going to reach for the little ding-dong thingy,” Emily said afterwards, referring to the bell a judge would ring if a speller got a word wrong. “I knew it, but I almost thought it might have been a “u” instead of an “o” at first.”

It was one of the most intense spelling bees The Telegram has taken part in, judges said, especially with a competition title word being on the line several times and students who thought they were knocked out suddenly finding themselves back in the competition.

Emily said she practised up to five pages of words a day preparing for The Telegram Spelling Bee. That prep work will come in handy for her next challenge. Emily now qualifies for the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C. Emily won $2,000, a trophy, and other prize for her impressive spelling abilities. The runners up — Erin Walters and Erin McDonald — got $500 each. Fifty-nine students took part.