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Fort Worth student Will Lourcey aced the spelling of "fallacy" and "Ruritanian" on Wednesday, but it wasn't enough for him to advance to the finals of the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

"She has prayed for me and encouraged me so much over the years", Rajeev said.

At only 11 years-old, Hennessey still has three more years of eligibility.

Part 1 of the finals will be from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. Thursday.

It boiled down to the points the seventh grader earned in the competition.

Spellers took a written spelling and vocabulary test on Tuesday before live spelling rounds Wednesday.

Following the written test that featured 26 written and multiple choice items, Andrew participated in the oral spelling rounds.

"It was pretty hard", Mills said about the written test. He correctly spelled "Requiem" and "animism" during Wednesday's rounds. The correct spelling came after the two spellers immediately preceding Erin misspelled their words. Spellers are competing for a trophy and more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. Of the total spellers in the bee, 20 are age 10 or younger. As an adult woman who still can't remember the proper spelling of the word "occasionally" and had to type "recommendation" out three times before getting it right, I salute this young woman's poise and skill. A wrong spelling meant automatic elimination from the contest. The largest contingent of participants are 13 years old.

Sylvia said she hopes for a return trip to Washington next year, but not necessarily as a competitor.

Andrew said he would like to thank his family, principal, teachers and friends for being so supportive during the entire process.

Added her mother, Annie Fuller: "This is a girl who has difficulty sitting through a Disney movie". Her advice for other kids following in her footsteps is this. Eleven represent the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea. You can meet a lot of great people here and do a lot of good things. "It's just a phenomenal experience". "It was worth all the studying and preparation".


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