MARQUETTE - At the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Leland Finney of Powers, representing the Upper Peninsula Spelling Bee Collaborative, was ousted in the preliminary rounds Wednesday.
In competition at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Finney, an eighth-grader at North Central Area Schools, spelled noggin correctly in round two but then spelled jerboa incorrectly as gerboa in round three.
Jerboa are any of various mouse-like rodents of North Africa and Asia, with long hind legs used for jumping.
Although spellers aren't automatically eliminated for missing a word onstage during the preliminary rounds, it's all but impossible to advance without getting both words right.
The National Spelling Bee semifinals were scheduled to be broadcast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today on ESPN2, and the finals will be shown live from 8 to 10 tonight on ESPN.
The winner of the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee gets $30,000 in cash, a trophy, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica and an online language course.
The National Spelling Bee was started by a collection of newspapers in 1925, with Scripps taking over sponsorship of the competition in 1941. Of the 87 champion spellers, 46 have been girls and 41 have been boys.