Brent Henderson's combined scores from the first-round written test and the second-round were not enough to advance him to the next round.
Brent Henderson made it through one round, but that is where his experience at the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking on stage because there was a huge audience of three to 4,000 people watching,” he said from Washington D.C. “Then there was these huge lights on you. It was an interesting experience.”
Brent, a seventh grader at Moreland Ridge Middle School and the winner of the Jackson County Spelling Bee, spelled the word “spelunking” correctly Thursday morning in the second round of the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. However, when scores from the second round were combined with those from the first round written test, he did not have enough points to move on to the quarterfinals. Round one at nationals is a written test.
Brent has been competing in the Jackson County Spelling Bee for four years. This was the first time he had qualified for the National Spelling Bee.
“I was disappointed that I didn't move on,” he said. “But I did my best. I want to hopefully make it back next year, so I can try again.”
Only 100 students of the 288 who qualified moved onto the quarterfinals. In total, there were seven students from Missouri competing. Only Corrine Yap, of Sedalia, advanced further than the second round. She is now a semifinalist and will continue competing Friday.
The semifinal rounds began at 10 a.m. and was shown live on ESPN, Comcast Channel 13.
The finals are at 7 p.m. today and are shown live on ABC, Comcast Channel 12.
Brent will remain in Washington D.C. through the weekend and will participate in the remaining activities and events associated with the bee.
“We are going to go down and watch the semifinals and then the finals tonight,” he said. “I think it will be pretty cool to watch in person.”