ONE DOWN: UP speller makes it to next round of National Spelling Bee

Lowell Torola, 14, of Calumet, Mich., spells his word during the 2nd Round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

MARQUETTE — Lowell Torola, representing the Upper Peninsula, made it through his first word in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Tuesday in National Harbor, Maryland.

The eighth-grader from Washington Middle School in Calumet correctly spelled “emissarium” to move on to round three, which is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. It is being broadcast live on ESPN3.

According to, an emissarium is “a subterranean channel used by the ancient Romans for the drainage of a lake lacking a natural outlet.”

After a preliminary round, the first day of on-stage spelling Tuesday saw 452 youngsters make it through to today’s round. Out of the competition are 64 competitors who misspelled Tuesday.

Part of the “Spelling Torolas,” a family that has had several members go to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Lowell lists “1984” by George Orwell as his favorite book; golf as his favorite sport; and “Mr. Bean Goes to America” as his favorite movie, according to the bee’s website.

The 14-year-old is 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. Sponsors of the U.P. bee included several Ogden Newspapers Inc., publications: The Mining Journal in Marquette, The Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, The Daily Press in Escanaba and The Daily News in Iron Mountain.

The 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee finals will be on Thursday. 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. Thursday.

The bee’s website said of the event: “Our purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.”