20 rounds later, Slayton girl heads to national beePublished 11:27am Wednesday, February 26, 2014
It took 20 rounds and 2 1/2 hours, but Alyssa Boynton is heading to Washington D.C.
Boynton, a seventh-grader from Slayton, outlasted 20 other competitors at the Multi-Regional State Spelling Bee Tuesday afternoon at Lakes Country Service Cooperative in Fergus Falls. With her victory, Boynton earned a spot at the Scripps National Spelling Bee beginning May 25.
“Once I got up to the top 10 I settled down a little bit,” said Boynton, who was very nervous going into the spelling bee.
Tuesday’s spelling bee brought students from across the state to Fergus Falls. No students were eliminated through the first two rounds and eliminations generally came slowly throughout the competition.
That was especially true of a stretch in the middle of the bee, where each the final eight competitors made it through rounds eight through 12, a period that was nerve-racking for Boynton.
“We were all just wondering, ‘When is somebody going to get out? How long is this going to go on?’” she said.
Compared to those middle rounds, the end of the competition happened fairly quickly. Two competitors were eliminated in round 17 and another in round 18, leaving Boynton and eventual runner-up Yosh Kapoor.
Kapoor misspelled his first word in the finals, leaving Boynton with a chance to clinch a victory by spelling two words correctly. She did so calmly and seemed collected when she was announced as the winner, but inside was a much different story.
“I was really excited,” she said. “I was trying not to jump up and down.”
Boynton said she studied for the competition by making lists of words from the dictionary. To prepare for her first trip to Washington D.C. and the national competition, she plans to get back to studying almost immediately.