Saturday, March 16, was a very exciting day for Himanvi Kopuri, a seventh grader at Hamilton Middle School. After placing second last year, Himanvi has and won the 73rd annual Colorado State Spelling Bee. “At first the judges weren’t clear,” Himanvi says, “whether I had just won or not. I wasn’t 100% sure if I had it right since [oriel, the winning word,] has a homonym.” She was temporarily “puzzled” by the lack of reaction from the judging table, but once it was acknowledged that she was correct, Himanvi was ecstatic.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows to the state finals. First, Himanvi had to be in the top ten spellers in her school, which required time dedicated to memorizing Spell It!, the national study words. Knowing each of the approximately 1,200 words by heart is crucial to success in spelling bees. After achieving this she competed in her district written spelling bee, missing only two words out of one hundred, and the city oral spelling bee, which she won. This qualified her for the recent State Spelling Bee. Himanvi didn’t miss a single word on the preliminary written test. This consisted of 25 Spell It! Words and 25 extremely difficult words out of anywhere in the dictionary such as Beelzebub (bee-AL-zuh-bub) and bacciferous (bak-SI-fer-us). This qualified her for the final oral round, deciding the winner. “The hardest word I felt I got was scourge,” she confesses, “since the judges and pronouncer were saying it differently.”
Since Himanvi has won the state competition, she will continue to the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. “On a scale of one to ten, I am excited at about a nine. I’m worried about competing against all of the best spellers in the country!” Himanvi would like to thank her spelling coaches, Mr. Bill Schaefer and Ms. Lesley Meyer, her parents, and her friends for their unending help and support. Good luck, Himanvi!