Crookston eighth-grader spells both her words correctly on stage, but her score on written preliminary test isn’t high enough to advance
Ainsley Boucher took center stage twice on Wednesday, in rounds two and three, at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. and nailed the two words she was told to spell, “menagerie” first, followed by “discreditable.”
Making the day even more memorable, Wednesday was her 13th birthday, too.
But Thursday morning, Ainsley, who will be an eighth-grader at Crookston High School in the fall, and her parents, Stefanie and Jon, learned that she had been eliminated from the bee due to her score on a written spelling and vocabulary test that the 291 spellers complete Tuesday.
Boucher and the other “Spellebrities” took the preliminary written test at the same time in the same room that consisted of 12 spelling words and 14 vocabulary words. Combined with the speller’s on-stage performance Wednesday, the test score determined who moved on to Thursday’s rounds.
“She’s out,” Stefanie told the Times. “Even though she scored correctly on stage, her score on the written spelling and vocabulary tests wasn't high enough to make top 40. They can't take more than 50 kids so there must have been a lot who tied for the next couple scores.
“It was a great ride while it lasted, though,” she added.
Boucher and around 11 million other spellers across the United States and its territories in grades 5 through 8 earlier this year began their journey by competing in local bees. Boucher advanced from the local bee at Highland School, then moved on from the regional bee in Thief River Falls. From there, she advanced from the state super-regional bee in Fergus Falls by correctly spelling “Svengali.”
For making the national bee, Boucher received airfare for two to Washington, D.C., a six-night hotel stay, and $600 in spending money.
The national bee continues until June 4.