W. MI spellers survive Day 1 of Scripps national bee


WASHINGTON (WOOD) — Five word wizards from West Michigan are in Washington, D.C., vying for the top spot in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A record 562 students from across the country are competing this year. They each get the chance to spell one word Tuesday and another word Wednesday. After that, previous test scores are factored into their performance to whittle down the group to 50 spellers.

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All five of West Michigan’s competitors made it through the first day of the bee by correctly spelling the following words:

  • Tanishka Jadhav of St. Joseph: eidetic
  • Blake Bouwman of Grand Rapids: mettlesome
  • Jack Lado of Grand Rapids: pariah
  • Ananya Bommineni of Stevensville: becquerel
  • Sophia Grierson of Ludington: pumice

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If West Michigan’s spellers make the cut Wednesday, they’ll move onto the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, airing on ESPN Thursday and Friday.

The winner of the spelling bee gets $40,000 and a trophy, as well as a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and reference books from Merriam-Webster and Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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