Lakewood teen advances to the primetime finals of the Spelling Bee

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Lakewood’s Sylvie Lamontagne is one of 10 remaining finalists at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee after correctly spelling four words during early competition on Thursday.

Sylvie and the nine other spellers will return to competition tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Fellow Colorado competitor Cameron Keith bowed out in the fifth round of the Bee by misspelling “noncompos.”

Sylvie had no problem answering three of the four words before her. But her first word, “sylvilagus,” nearly tripped up the 2015 ninth-place Bee finisher.

“I also got kind of lucky, luck definitely played a factor,” she said. “I have never seen it before, but I put it together using the roots. I knew the “slyv” root, but I almost blanked on the spelling of the root, but I remembered in time.”

Sylvie is one of just two primetime finalists who were in the top 10 last year.

Sylvie showed some nerves during the finals, as she would use her hand to write out the word as she spells it out for Bailly and the judges.

“I don’t like sitting still, but when I get nervous, that triples,” Sylvie said.

Sylvie's appearance on primetime was brief last year as she missed her first word. Sylvie hopes a year of practice will allow her to go for the Bee’s top prize of $40,000.

“Hopefully I’ll make it farther this time,” Sylvie said.

The Bee started with 284 competitors on Tuesday. The field narrowed to 45 after an exam and two rounds of spelling on Wednesday. Thirty-five of the 45 finalists were eliminated in Rounds 3 through 7 on Thursday.

Syvlie is an eighth grader at Creighton Middle School. 

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