Bee Fun

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Broadalbin-Perth Middle School student Miles Compani got a chance to meet his goals Tuesday by getting up on stage at the Scripps National Spelling Bee and correctly spelling tichodrome, a bird native to Europe and Asia.

Compani, 13, was one of 285 spellers from the United States, the Bahamas, Canada, Europe, Ghana, Guam, Jamaica, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the U.S. Virgin Islands to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday in National Harbor, Md.

This year’s winner of the Fulton County Spelling Bee made it through the written test and the second round, before being eliminated in the third round on the word baklava, a Greek dessert.

Compani was in good spirits this morning, however, as he and his family were preparing for a day of sightseeing around the nation’s capital before returning later in the day to watch some of the spelling bee.

“I was really excited to be up on stage, and it was really fun,” he said.

Compani met with spellers from different states and had his photo taken by media outlets from across the nation.

Compani spent around two hours a day studying words to prepare for the event, including a list of words from Scripps and random words pulled from the dictionary.

“I was super excited for him. For five years he worked on this,” his mother, Erin Compani, said.

Erin Compani said the trip has been special for all the children involved. She said there are different activities and prizes throughout the contest. She also noted adults are on hand for a variety of conferences at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, where the bee is held, congratulating the contestants on getting to the bee.

Erin Compani said her son has been getting text messages of support from family and friends, and said the BP school district was able to stream the competition so they could see him live on stage.

Miles Compani took part in a taping of an advertisement for the spelling bee that is expected to air on ESPN soon. He and the other contestants will also get a chance to attend an awards dinner for the competitors Friday.

“Overall, it has been over the top. From the minute you step in, the kids are treated like celebrities,” Erin Compani said.

The 45 national spelling bee finalists will be going onto the final rounds today. The first portion of the finals will be shown today on ESPN2, with the second portion broadcasting at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

According to Scripps, 171 spellers were eligible to move on to the finals based on the on-stage portion. The final 45 were determined by their scores on a preliminary written test the spellers took Tuesday.

The winner of the annual Fulton County bee, presented by The Leader-Herald, earns the privilege to compete in the national bee near Washington. The Leader-Herald sponsors the local contestant’s trip.

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