Skip to main content

Spelling Bee: Minnesota teen's run ends in semifinals

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Mark Kivimaki went to Washington D.C. with 280 of the nation's top spellers.

The Minnesota teenager made it all the way to the final 46 before he missed a beat.

The 13-year-old Kivimaki was eliminated in the sixth round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday by the word "Ananke" – defined as "a personification of compelling necessity or ultimate fate to which even the gods must yield" by Merriam-Webster. Earlier in the day, he correctly spelled the word "ebullition" (the act, process, or state of boiling or bubbling up) in round five.

Kivimaki's profile lets you view all the words he was asked to spell, his vocabulary tests, and some of the words he was given during local competition.

The seventh-grader is the son of son of Eden Prairie High School science teacher/track coach Bruce Kivimaki, according to Eden Prairie News. He currently attends Valley View Middle School in Edina – and the school let him know they were rooting for him.

Five Minnesotans Compete

Kivimaki was one of five Minnesotans who competed in the national portion of the competition. He correctly spelled the words “echt” (meaning real, authentic, genuine) and “proselyte” (meaning a convert, a true believer) in the two live rounds on Wednesday, and was the only one to reach Thursday's semifinals. Competitors also took a written spelling and vocabulary test before the live rounds began, which was included in the calculation of their scores.

The other four Minnesota students who participated in the preliminary round are:

– Brainerd eighth-grader Lauren Crabtree, 14, of Forestview Middle School, who correctly spelled “chauvinism” and “veridical.”

– Eighth-grader Shane DeSilva, 14, from Pacelli Catholic Schools in Austin, who correctly spelled “serdab” and “tiffen.”

– Seventh-grader Alyssa Boynton, 13, from Murray County Central in Slayton, who correctly spelled “embarcadero” and missed the spelling of “haricot.”

– Eighth-grader Kellen Rodriguez, 14, from the Fairmont School District, who correctly spelled “boswell” and missed the spelling of “equipollent.”

There are 12 spellers who are advancing to tonight's final round, based on a cumulative score from the preliminaries and semifinals. It starts at 7 p.m. CST and will be aired on ESPN.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 5.21.04 PM

Ex-South St. Paul coach dies by suicide 2 days before sentencing

Matthew McCollister was to be sentenced for fraud in federal court on Wednesday.


Minnesota 'glampground' named one of 10 best in U.S.

In Nevis, Minnesota, campers can stay in a refurbished 1905 train car.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Two men charged over terrifying armed robbery at Newport apartment

They shot the woman who lives in the apartment in the abdomen, and put a gun to a man's head.

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis 2-year-old identified in suspicious death case

The cause of death has not yet been revealed due to an ongoing investigation.

Arianna Vos

Victim of wrong-way driver crash ID'd as Hutchinson 19-year-old

Three women, ages 19, 20 and 20, were in the vehicle struck by a wrong-way driver early Sunday morning.

Julissa Thaler

Eli Hart killing: Police investigating multiple crime scenes

An announcement Tuesday confirmed potential crime scenes in Mound and Minnetrista.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Minneapolis accused of backtracking on 24/7 bus lanes for Hennepin Ave.

The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on Thursday.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Duluth brings back masking in city buildings amid COVID surge

Duluth, in one of the state's current COVID hotspots, has brought back a mask requirement in city buildings.