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Two of the competitors in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this year are from Colorado.Eva Kitlen, 13, of Niwot, and Frank Cahill, 14, of Parker, are among the 278 competitors this year and Cahill made advanced to the semifinals.Cahill is an eighth-grader at Ave Maria Catholic School in Parker. Like Kitlen, he is a musician. He plays violin in the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as piano.Cahill is a 4.0 honor roll student, a Boy Scout and was a Colorado state finalist in the MATHCOUNTS National Competition in 2011 and 2012.Cahill participates in theater and has played the lead roles in "Dracula" and "Oliver Twist." He is also a defenseman on the Parker Hawks lacrosse team and a member of the varsity basketball team at his school.In his spare time, Cahill likes sculpting and reading.Kitlen is a seventh-grader at Sunset Middle School in Longmont. Her biography on the Spelling Bee website said she is a talented musician and member of her schools band and jazz band. Kitlen plays clarinet, baritone horn and piano.Kitlen also swims on both the Longmont Redtails year-round swim team and the state swim team. She is interested in astrophysics and hopes to someday pursue a career studying the universe.
The 2012 bee started on Tuesday with a computerized spelling test of 50 words. Only half of the answers counted toward each speller's preliminaries score. The computerized test score will be combined with the results of rounds two and three to determine the semifinalists.Cahill advanced to the semifinals Tuesday.The preliminaries will be held Wednesday, the semifinals are Thursday morning, and the championship finals are Thursday night.Learn more about the competition on the Spelling Bee website.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company, the parent company of Denver's 7.