McNeal Elementary fourth-grader Anissa Murgo sailed through the first and second rounds at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., Tuesday and Wednesday. But she misspelled a word in the third round that likely cost her a move to the semi-finals.
Anissa missed the word: cytolysis. She spelled it “cytolosis.”
“She was really upset at first,” Anissa’s mother Loubna Assarig said. “But I explained to her, this is her first time here. She just turned 10 years old.”
Only a few other 10-year-olds earned the right to compete at the National Spelling Bee.
The students were scheduled for three separate rounds where each correctly spelled response would give them points. Round one involved a written test where students were asked to spell words correctly. Round two launched the ever-popular opportunity where students go to the microphone and spell out a word the judge requests. Anissa spelled the word “mercerize” correctly giving her additional points. The third round students continue spelling words out loud. That’s when Anissa misspelled a word.
Bee organizers said she could have still made the list of semi-finalists had she earned enough points. But she didn’t. The competition was too fierce. But that didn’t seem to dim her enthusiasm.
“I saw all the great spellers in the country,” she said Wednesday.
Assarig said her daughter was “still under the adrenalin of the whole experience.”
Anissa was sponsored by Bradenton’s Coastal Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Assarig said she was humbled by the company’s generosity.
“I really want to thank our sponsor Coastal Orthopedics and Sports Medicine,” Assarig said. “I would not have been able to afford this.”
There were 275 students who came to Washington, D.C. for the spelling bee. About 50 semi-finalists were named Wednesday.
Anissa’s teacher Martha Nieves kept up with the results to check on the progress of her student.
“She is an overachiever,” Nieves said. “She is always going beyond what I ask her to do.”
Anissa won Manatee County’s spelling bee in March. She was only 9-years-old then.