PHOENIX — Two Arizona girls saw their run at the Scripps National Spelling Bee fall short on Wednesday.
Both Kelly Haven, 12, and Penba Ba, 13, failed to make the final round along with more than 200 other spellers who were eliminated prior to the final round.
Haven’s time at the bee ended quickly. The Fort Defiance girl missed her first word.
However, Ba fared much better. She spelled both of her words on Wednesday correctly.
But the bee is a fickle beast. Ba was eliminated because she did not score high enough on a written spelling test that was administered on Tuesday.
More than 100 spellers alone were eliminated because of the test.
The bee began with 291 spellers from around the country. Only 40 moved on to the final round.
The bee was scheduled to continue on Thursday. The finals will be broadcast on ESPN2 in the morning and ESPN in the evening.
Once there are about 10 spellers left, the competition will pause until the primetime finale.
Spellers are competing for a trophy and more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. After three consecutive years of ties, the bee is likely to identify a sole champion this year because it added a tiebreaker test.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.