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Hannah Miller of Concord correctly spells "beetewk" (a Russian breed of heavy draft horses) in Round 2 of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday, (Mark Bowen – Scripps National Spelling Bee.)

UPDATED: NH speller Hannah Miller doesn't make it to national bee semifinals


Concord's Hannah Miller did not make it to today's semifinal round at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Miller correctly spelled the word "heortology," which is the study of religion calendars, in the third round Wednesday, but was not among a list of 42 spellers who survived a fourth round, in which competitors spell words on a computer test.

Fourteen of the 247 spellers competing Wednesday morning did not make it to the third round. Miller got there by spelling "beetewk" in the second round. The 13-year-old eighth-grader from Rundlett Middle School in Concord correctly spelled the seven-letter word for a Russian breed of heavy draft horses.

Miller outspelled 191 other children in March to win the state spelling bee, sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader. She correctly spelled "subaqueous" in the 17th round of spelling to capture the state title.

Miller's participation in the national competition came on the heels of the success of last year's state champion, Dover's Emma Ciereszynski, who placed eighth at the 2012 national bee while charming the judges and audience.

"I'm hoping I can get farther than eighth and maybe win," Miller said in an earlier interview.

Miller was one of 281 spellers at the national bee who encountered a new test of vocabulary knowledge during the preliminary competition. The new test comprised half a competitor's score — a computer spelling test and onstage spelling make up the other half — and determined who moved on to semifinal rounds, according to bee officials.

In the vocabulary portion of the preliminary rounds, Miller wasn't as successful. She incorrectly said "waterzooi" is a type of animal. It is a type of food. But, in the third round, she correctly defined "discigerous" as a rounded and flattened structure.

The vocabulary portion will be an optional part of local and statewide competitions beginning with the 2013-14 school year. Shannon Sullivan, community relations manager for the New Hampshire Union Leader, said New Hampshire organizers likely will incorporate the vocabulary test.

The semifinals will be broadcast at 2 p.m. today on ESPN2; the finals will air at 8 p.m. tonight on ESPN.

tbuckland@unionleader.com

Previous stories follow:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hannah Miller had no problem spelling "beetewk" this morning to make it into this afternoon's third round in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

The 13-year-old eighth-grader from Rundlett Middle School in Concord correctly spelled the seven-letter word for a Russian breed of heavy draft horses.

Fourteen of the 247 spellers competing this morning did not make it into the third round, which begins at 2 p.m.

Miller, who is speller No. 146 in the national bee, outspelled 191 other children in March to win the state spelling bee, sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader. She correctly spelled "subaqueous" in the 17th round of spelling to capture the state title.

Click here to follow the Bee's Twitter feed, @ScrippsBee.

CONCORD - Hannah Miller has conflicting emotions as she leaves today to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

"I'm very nervous. There's always that underlying fear that you won't make it as far as you want to," she said. "But I really hope I can make it as far as winning. I'm really excited."

Miller, an eighth-grader at Rundlett Middle School, outspelled 191 other youngsters in March to win the state spelling bee, which is sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

She correctly spelled "subaqueous" to win after 17 rounds of spelling.

She said she prefers to be quizzed by others to hone her spelling skills, rather than hunching over a dictionary to memorize words.

"It kind of drills it into my brain," said the 13-year-old from Concord.

She said she hopes she doesn't run into any words of Dutch origin, which she identified as her weakness.

"Those really get me. They have crazy vowel combinations," she said.

Miller's participation in the national competition comes on the heels of the success of last year's state champion, Dover's Emma Ciereszynski, who placed eighth at the 2012 national bee while charming the judges and audience with her confidence and expressive personality.

"I'm hoping I can get farther than eighth and maybe win," Miller said.

"Of course, we hope she goes all the way," Shannon Sullivan, community relations manager for the Union Leader, said of Miller.

Miller will be one of 281 spellers at the national bee who will encounter a new test of vocabulary knowledge during the preliminary competition. The new test will comprise half a competitor's score - a computer spelling test and onstage spelling make up the other half - to determine who moves on to semifinal rounds, according to bee officials.

Miller said she is excited about the new addition, saying she learns spelling better by getting to the meaning of words rather than through rote memory of word spelling.

"The way I learn to spell so well is that I read like crazy," she said. "So I was kind of happy about the rule change."

The vocabulary portion will be an optional part of local and statewide competitions beginning with the 2013-14 school year, and Sullivan said New Hampshire organizers likely will incorporate the vocabulary test.

"We do our best to mimic the national bee to best prepare our state champion," she said. "It's likely that we will want our bees to reflect as closely as they can to the national bee."

The national bee begins Tuesday with preliminary rounds. The semifinals will be broadcast at 2 p.m. Thursday on ESPN2, and the finals will air at 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.

- Tim Buckland, New Hampshire Union Leader

tbuckland@unionleader.com

        

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