They Can Spell Hukilau. Can You?

After a preliminary test Tuesday, the spelling really gets going on Wednesday

Several Southern California students competed in rounds 2 and 3 of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which started Tuesday in Maryland.

Twitter: Updates From the Spelling Bee

On Tuesday, spellers took a 25-word preliminary test. Each correct answer was worth one point. After another preliminary round Wednesday, seminfinalists will be announced at 2:30 p.m. PT.

The following Southland students were part of the preliminary competition:

  • Raymond Galloway, Vista Verde Middle School, Moreno Valley
  • Dylan T. McEttrick, Matilija Junior High School, Ojai
  • Apolonia Gardner, Frank Wright Middle School, Imperial
  • Marika K. Fox, St. Nicholas School, Northridge
  • Tin Kuo, Suzanne Middle School, Walnut
  • Talia Rose Ruiz, Brookhurst Junior High School, Anaheim
  • Tia Ha, Quail Valley Middle School, Phelan

Click here for a look at the words in the Round 1 test.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Talia Rose Ruiz and Tia Ha both misspelled words in rounds 2 and 3.

In round 2, Ruiz misspelled "voortrekker" (for those wondering, it is one of the original Afrikaner settlers of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State who migrated from the Cape Colony in the 1830s, according to Tia Ha stumbled on "quenelle" (a dumpling of finely chopped fish or meat), spelling it as "canel."


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In round 3, Ruiz added an extra 'b' in the middle of "Bobadil" (a cowardly braggart). Ha spelled "naumachia" (a mock sea fight) as "nomacia."

Scores will be tabulated later Wednesday. Spellers earn three points for each correctly spelled word, giving each speller the chance to earn up to 31 points in the first three rounds.

At the end of round three, the field will be reduced to a maximum of 50 spellers based on their scores.

The semifinal and championship rounds will be Thursday. A contestant will be eliminated after he or she misspells a word.

Southern California has produced only one champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which began in 1925, Anurag Kashyap of Poway, the 2005 winner.

Related: Spelling Bee Schedule | California Spellers | Photos of Day 1

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