Arizona native overcame nerves during Scripps National Spelling Bee

Jun 12, 2022, 12:00 PM

PHOENIX — Aliyah Alpert, a sixth-grader from Prescott, placed ninth place at the Scripps National Spelling Bee this year and discussed the process of dealing with the pressure of television, as well as some other best spellers in the nation.

The 11-year-old was asked whether or not she was nervous spelling in front of the entire country on national television.

“Very nervous, I tried not to show it,” Alpert told the KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show on Friday.

“I try to relax myself, make sure that I breathe and prayed. I tried to remember that I don’t need to think about the people around me, it’s just me and the word.”

Alpert was eliminated when she misspelled the word “ajivika” in the opening round of the finals.

She was asked if she gets upset when other contestants get “easier” words.

“After (I got out) I went into the audience to watch,” Alpert said. “At one point the champion got ‘ditalini.’ I was like ‘why couldn’t I get that word in the opening round.'”

At 11 years old, Alpert was the youngest contestant in the spelling bee and will get two more chances to improve on her ninth-place finish.

Although she is a fierce competitor, she was not wishing for any of the other contestants to miss their words as well.

“We are always supportive of each other. We always tell each other we’re going to do well,” Alpert said.

“When someone says, ‘I’m totally going to lose.’ We always say, ‘Don’t say that, it is going to make you do worse.’ We try to be really supportive of each other and hope each other go all the way.”

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Arizona native overcame nerves during Scripps National Spelling Bee