Torola does not make finals of National Spelling Bee

MARQUETTE — Lowell Torola, representing the Upper Peninsula, spelled his word correctly while on-stage at the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Wednesday in National Harbor, Maryland.

But he did not advance to today’s finals.

Some 321 of the original 452 spellers in the competition made it through the first rounds of on-stage spelling. The field was narrowed to the final 41 through the points accrued in the written preliminary tests, which consisted of 12 spelling words and three rounds of vocabulary words.

Torola, an eighth-grader from Washington Middle School in Calumet, correctly spelled “aerophobia” in round three Wednesday.

The 14-year-old was officially Speller 271 for the competition. To make it to the national tourney, Lowell won the Upper Peninsula Community Education Association’s Spelling Bee March 14 at Negaunee High School.

There was one other speller from the Upper Peninsula in the competition. Nora Cunningham, a student at Manistique Middle and High School, misspelled “noncommittal” on Wednesday to be eliminated from the bee.

The 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee finals at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center will be broadcast today. The early session, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be shown on ESPN2, while the final part of the event will be on ESPN from 8:30-10 p.m.

The bee’s website reads: “Since 1925, children across America have participated in school, local and regional bees with the singular hope of making it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. This year, 11 million students will join in the experience.”