It’s round two for Apolonia Gardner in Washington, D.C., literally. Rounds two and three of the Scripps National Spelling Bee are from 5 a.m. until 2:15 p.m. today. Apolonia arrived in the nation’s capital Sunday and she said that everything has been excellent. Round one was a written test of 50 questions. Only 25 of the questions count, but the spellers don’t know which ones until today, when they get the results.
“Some of them were tough but most of them I knew so I’m pretty happy about that,” Apolonia said.
Apolonia’s dad, Doug Gardner said that she is doing fine, but they are waiting to see how she does today because it is hard to move on. Only 15 percent of spellers move on to the semifinals on Thursday, he said.
Last year Apolonia got only to round three, but her family feels she is more prepared this year.
“We’re hoping for better this year,” Gardner said.
There is a tradition at the spelling bee that the spellers go around getting autographs from the other participants to get them to know each other. Apolonia said she already has about 50 autographs.
This time, she said she is hoping to see more of the White House and the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.
“We’re having a good time and it’s a lot of fun, just like it was last year,” Gardner said.
Apolonia is confident that today she will do well and will go to the semifinals.
“I feel good,” Apolonia said. “I think I’m ready for it.”
Multimedia Producer Laura Gonzalez can be reached at 760-337-3440 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Preliminaries 5 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. today live on ESPN3.com
Semifinals 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. Thursday live on ESPN2
Championship finals 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday live on ESPN