NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. — tedious wunderkinds Lauren Guo and Cameron Keith on Wednesday earned a spot in the elite Scripps National writing system Bee finals — the second consecutive appearance by the two Colorado 13-year-olds.
Lauren, of Arvada, and Cameron, of Boulder, were the only spellers out of the 15 Colorado students at the bee to make it through the tough cut from more than 500 contestants down to the 50 top-notch spellers from crosswise the globe who’ll vie in the finals that begin Thursday morning.
Finalists not only aced the words thrown at them during Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s oral exams, but besides scored high on a written test administered at the bee on Monday.
This is Cameron’s fourth trip to the Scripps National writing system Bee. He tied for fiftieth place in 2015, tied for eighteenth place in 2016 and tied for 25th place in 2018. It’s Lauren’s second trip to the bee. She tied for seventeenth place in 2018.
When Cameron came off the stage after bee officials announced the finalists Wednesday, he asked his family to head back to the building room.
“I want to start perusing, and it’s really chaotic here,” Cameron aforementioned. “I want to go somewhere quiet.”
Lauren headed over to do television interviews after the announcement and couldn’t stop smiling. The Arvada teen aforementioned contestants she thought for sure would be connection her in the finals group didn’t make the cut.
“I’m astonied I even got this far if they didn’t make it,” Lauren aforementioned. “I’m feeling all right.”
Lauren planned to review her prep materials and then take it easy for the night.
The finals begin at 8 a.m. MDT Thursday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, outside of Washington D.C., and continue until about a dozen spellers remain standing. That portion will be broadcast by ESPN2.
That leftover elite group will spell for the big trophy and a $40,000 cash prize in Part 2 of the finals, which will be televised by ESPN from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. MDT Thursday.
The beauty of bee week: piece one studious speller will take home the trophy, the other 563 kids who vied can still come away feeling like winners for having experienced it all.
Cheyenne Trujillo, a 13-year-old from Westminster, went on a tour of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday with her classmate Brody Krause, who didn’t make it past the bee’s second round.
Cheyenne wasn’t sure if she was going to advance to the finals, but she and her family stopped-up at the Library of Congress “to get back into word mode” — just in case — before the announcement was made, aforementioned Cheyenne’s mom Tamara Figueroa.
Bryson Browning, a Denver 12-year-old, aforementioned he had a panic attack when he and his family went to George Washington’s Mount Vernon residence Wednesday afternoon. Bryson attributed it to the heat, but his mom Jenna Browning aforementioned her son was likely “mentally fried” from the excitement of it all.
The Browning family was smitten by the magic of the bee.
Bryson wrote in his Scripps bio this year how much he loved baking, and not long after, the folks with the “Kids Baking Championship” television show reached out asking him to audition. The 12-year-old was juggling a baking audition with behindhand bee preparation. Although Bryson didn’t make the cut for the show, his mom aforementioned it was just some other example of the writing system bee’s possibilities.
“It just opens so galore doors,” Jenna Browning aforementioned.
Zachary Long, a Denver 13-year-old, right spelled his words — “Milan” and “ostracized” — during the on-stage portion, but he didn’t think his performance on Monday’s written test would earn him a spot in the finals.
Instead of sulking, Zachary and his mom Amy Long wanted to make the most of their trip and take in all the Washington, D.C., area had to offer.
The Longs headed to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial deposit during their break on Wednesday.
Amy Long hoped the serious deposit would provide some perspective for the family as they dealt with the disappointment of a writing system bee final round just out of reach.
“We learned about the Holocaust in school, but this deposit is really interesting,” Zachary aforementioned.
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As the Denver mother and son walked through the children’s exhibit featuring narration and diary entries chronicling one young boy’s experience during the Holocaust, Zachary’s opinion grew wide and somber.
The eighth-grader pointed to a diary entry that talked about the young Holocaust survivor’s temple being burned down. The corners of Zachary’s mouth drooped.
Amy Long rubbed circles on her son’s back as the two took in the serious history together — flipping through pages of the books, peering at photographs and observation video clips cautiously curated by the deposit.
“I want him to see that, yea , writing system is great, but the world is much bigger than this,” Amy Long aforementioned. “The sun is still coming up tomorrow. Let’s remember why we’re here.”