Lehigh Valley

Students compete at regional final of national spelling bee

Students compete at regional final of national spelling bee

BETHLEHEM TOWSHIP, Pa. - The regional final of the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held at Northampton Community College Thursday night.

The regionals featured 52 students from Pennsylvania and New Jersey with dreams of going all the way.

"It was really nerve-wracking," explained Orefield Middle School sixth-grader Abigail Hill.

"I tried my best," Lehigh Elementary School 6th-grader Daniel Ehritz shared.

The contestants were narrowed down from nearly 25,000 students across about 125 schools.

They range from fourth graders all the way up to eighth.

It took weeks of practice and hard work to get to the regional stage.

"I never thought of myself as a bad speller, but not a fantastic one either," Hill said with a smile. "So I just wanted to try it out and see what happened."

"I studied as hard as I could," Ehritz added. "We found this website that had foreign languages, I tried that."

As the competition continued, nerves ramped up. Families in the audience may have been just as nervous as the spellers.

"It can be a real nail biting competition," organizer Jennifer Kelly said. "We've gone to the 50s in terms of rounds, last year we went 37 rounds, so we really just never know."

Spell the word correctly, and you move on. Spell it wrong, and your run was over.

"It was nosh, I spelled it G-N-O-S-H but it was actually N-O-S-H," Ehrtitz described.

"I'm gonna try again next year," Hill shared. "And see if I can make it further."

The winner of this regional bee heads to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.

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