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This word kept Minnesotan out of the spelling bee finals

Good try, Thomas – we probably couldn't spell it either.

"K-A-R-A-R-A."

That's close to how it's pronounced, but not how you spell "Carrara" – the word for a white statuary marble that's often used in sculptures and buildings.

It's the word that got Thomas York knocked out of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday afternoon. The eighth-grader from St. Francis of Assisi school in Rochester was the only Minnesotan to make it to the final day of the bee, but he fell short of making it to the final round of 15 spellers, which will be televised Thursday night.

Thomas, whose father was also in the National Spelling Bee back in 1982, had a pretty good run, though. Before "Carrara" tripped him up, he spelled "sauger" correctly (naturally – it is a type of fish that's similar to walleye), as well as the words "cuneus" and "hesychast" on Thursday.

Minnesota has had one National Spelling Bee champion since the bee began in 1925. It was Sean Conley of Shakopee, who won in 2001, the Star Tribune says.

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