He spelled everything right, but Minnesota's Max is out of National Spelling Bee


The good news is that Minnesota's Maxwell Meyer correctly spelled every word he was given in the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The bad news: That wasn't enough to get him into the finals.

Despite spelling both words right before the cameras on semifinals day, the Minnetonka Middle School East 13-year-old didn't make it into the top 10.

WCCO reports that this is because, for the first time, the Bee ranked spellers based on their performances in two multiple-choice spelling and vocabulary tests, which according to the Los Angeles Daily News were taken by contestants on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maxwell had no trouble with his first word of the day, the Star Tribune notes, spelling "colcha," a wool-embroidered coverlet from Mexico, with ease.

His second word was tougher, but after a brief pause he correctly spelled "railleur," a word of French origin to mean "one given to good-natured ridicule."

Earlier in the competition, Max had correctly spelled "oolong" and "troglobiont."

It will mean there will be no Minnesotan representation in the final, after the state's only other semifinalist Christine Farnberg, from the Holy Spirit School in Rochester, slipped up on her first word of the day, "Syrette," a device that injects fluid through a needle.

She guessed "siret" – though in yesterday's rounds she correctly spelled "kuruma" and "budgerigar."

Eliminated in earlier rounds were Briana Joseph from St. John Vianney School in Fairmont, Cade Klimek from Chisholm High School, and Ammy Lin from Forestview Middle School in Baxter.

The nation's best young spellers are competing for more than $37,000 in cash and prizes.

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