UPDATED: NH speller Hannah Miller doesn't make it to national bee semifinals
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.)
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.
"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."
She correctly spelled "subaqueous" to win after 17 rounds of spelling.
"It kind of drills it into my brain," said the 13-year-old from Concord.
"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.
"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.
"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 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.
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