ROCK FALLS – Next week is Bee Week.
That means two local contestants and 279 others will be competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The preliminaries test is Tuesday and the preliminary rounds Wednesday in National Harbor, Md. The championship is Thursday evening on ESPN.
Audrey Melton, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at St. Andrew School in Rock Falls, will be speller No. 71. She is sponsored by the Daily Gazette, having won the Whiteside County Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 24.
Melton’s story is quite an interesting one. An alternate, she found out at lunchtime on the day of the Whiteside bee that she would be replacing the school’s contestant, who was ill and couldn’t compete.
She stood alone in Round 7, winning with the word contiguous.
Anna Ackerman Snider, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Forreston Junior High School, will be speller No. 63. She won the Lee/Ogle Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 20, and is sponsored by the Telegraph.
Preliminary rounds will be shown online from 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN3. Semifinals will be shown live from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday on ESPN2. The championship round will be televised live at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.