“The beginning was really tricky,” stated the 13-year-old, who simply completed seventh grade at Westminster Christian School in Palmetto Bay.
He guessed — spelling it u-r-i-h-a-l-i-n-e (Euryhaline organisms can dwell in recent or salt water.) Then he heard the dreaded ding.
Though disillusioned, Juan stated he was pleased with himself and is already trying ahead to competing in subsequent’s yr’s Bee.
“I think I am going to try even harder next year because it will be my last year,” stated Juan, who will likely be within the eighth grade, which is the final yr to qualify for the nationwide Bee. “There’s a lot that I need to work on.”
Juan, who gained the Miami Herald Spelling Bee for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, and Brody Santos, 12, who gained the Broward Bee, each represented South Florida within the nationwide competitors on the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, from May 31 to June 2.
Both spellers made it to the quarterfinals — Round 4 — and stumbled. The last spherical was set to happen Thursday evening.
Brody, who simply completed seventh grade at St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Fort Lauderdale, stated he had studied a listing of three,400 phrases and took a crash course to organize, however is aware of he has a “lot more work to do.” He needs to return subsequent yr as properly.
“I am going to study hard,” he stated. “I am going to focus on roots for the next year and really try to get a grasp on Latin and Greek.”
Brody stated being with different spellers and seeing how laborious they’ve studied have motivated him.
“I can be in their shoes, too, if I work hard enough,” he stated.
For Juan, who certified final yr as properly and misspelled within the preliminaries, simply having the ability to attend in individual was thrilling.
“This was better because it wasn’t virtual,” he stated. “I have gained a lot of knowledge. It’s impressive seeing how hard work pays off.”
Juan’s dad, who has the identical title as his son, stated this has been a studying expertise for the whole household.
“Seeing the amount of commitment from the spellers has been quite amazing,” he stated, including that he’s pleased with his son for making it so far as he did. “We told him from the beginning that just making it here is a feat in itself.”
This story was initially printed June 2, 2022 5:57 PM.