WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- “It feels exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time," Morgan Bumgardner said.
It was a mixed bag of emotions for the 12-year-old. He was a long way from his hometown of Mound House, a first timer at the National Spelling Bee in Maryland, and his first task the writing test.
“There were definitely words on there that I didn’t know but I feel ok about it I feel like I could get a decent score on it," he said.
Bumgardner said it was the dictionary that helped him prep for this competition along with studying the words with his Dad. He said it’s his personality that sets him apart from the rest on stage, all 515 of them.
This year the competition got a bit tougher as the bee expanded the field of spellers as a way to increase fairness across the board. They allowed spellers that didn’t have newspaper or TV sponsors to be able to participate. In the end the competition got the best of Morgan, he mis-spelled a word in the second round. But he gave a hint he might be back for one more year.
“Next year is the last year I can come back if I do come back," he added.
The 7th grader returns to finish up the school year at Dayton Intermediate School- with the support of a proud community.