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Top Colorado speller emerges from duel (FR Member's politicket's Son)
Rocky Mountain News ^ | March 21, 2005 | Ann Carnahan

Posted on 03/30/2005 10:06:27 AM PST by Graybeard58

The 12-year-old home-schooled boy who won Saturday's state spelling bee entered the contest on impulse just a few weeks ago.

Josiah Hamill, of Franktown, began studying in early February, although many contestants prepare for months or even years. He nailed stupefacient, meaning "bringing about a stupor," to win the 65th annual competition, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain News.

Josiah's dad, Brad Hamill, leapt into the air and clapped after the last word.

Reporters surrounded the young champion, who attributed his win to God "for helping me and letting me win."

He survived the four-hour competition that ended in a grueling showdown with runner-up Zach Cantor, a sixth-grader at the Challenge School in Denver. The two battled for 45 minutes, correctly spelling words like querimonious and prestidigitator.

Josiah's victory earns him the right to compete June 1-2 at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. It will be his first trip to the nation's capital, although he'll go as a reluctant champion.

The sixth-grader, who plays baseball, piano and violin, seemed on the verge of tears after his victory Saturday, but they were not tears of joy.

In Colorado, once you win the state bee, you can never enter it again. That means this is Josiah's only shot to win the national title, and he'll probably be competing against many eighth-graders. He said he would have rather won the state contest next year to give him more time to prepare for the national bee.

"We'll talk him through it," said his mom, Miki.

Zach Cantor planned to celebrate his second-place showing at his favorite restaurant, Benihana.

Josiah had planned to play football with his dad if he lost. He didn't even think about what he'd do if he won.

The bee, held at the Colorado Convention Center, began in the morning when 263 students in fifth through eighth grades took a written test of 50 words.

The top 35, who all spelled at least 20 words correctly, went on to the oral competition.

Beforehand, parents offered plenty of hugs and words of encouragement.

Rebecca Lindner, an eighth-grader from Morrison, smiled as her dad told her, "If you're nervous and don't know the word, just remember there are only 26 letters to choose from."

After a practice round, the oral competition started with easy words like chocolate and cafeteria. By the later rounds, the stellar spellers fielded words like alstroemeria and chionablepsia.

They often looked nervously at judge Zoe Lappin, who'd ding the bell when they misspelled a word, sending them off the stage.

Pronouncer Charley Samson regularly ordered deep breaths.

In the fourth round, Kelia Tracy, an eighth-grader from Rocky Top Middle School in Thornton, knew immediately she'd misspelled portent.

"Oh, no, no, no," Kelia said, pressing her hands against her head.

The drama of the day heightened after several cell phones went off in the audience, angering the judges. One contestant was in the middle of tackling unfulfilled when a phone rang. He spelled it wrong but was allowed to correct himself after judges called the ringing "highly distracting."

By round 18, only four spellers remained: Josiah, Zach, Sarah Parsons and Gabriel D'Silva. Sarah missed ayuntamiento.

Samson then announced that the words would no longer come from the paideia, the study guide students work with before the bee.

"Audible gasp, audible gasp," Samson said, joking about audience reaction to the elimination of the paideia.

Gabriel fumbled decorticate in the 21st round. Josiah correctly spelled arpeggio and Zach nailed brannigan.

Back and forth Josiah and Zach went, each on the verge of victory. The rules say that to win, a contestant must spell two words in a row correctly.

Finally, Josiah did just that, spelling fritillary, a word that Zach had missed, and stupefacient.

The last nine standing

Here is the list of the top nine spellers from Saturday's state bee, including the last word each spelled correctly and the word that eliminated the student from the competition. Four of the top nine finishers are home-schooled.

• Josiah Hamill, first place, home- schooled, Franktown - stupefacient

• Zach Cantor, runner-up, Challenge School, Denver - masseuse/fritillary

• Gabriel D'Silva, home-schooled, Loveland - mandir/decorticate

• Sarah Parsons, Maple Grove Elementary, Golden - alstroemeria/ayuntamiento

• Laura Shultz, home-schooled, Centennial - cargador/anastomosis

• Lauren Thuringer, home-schooled, Centennial - galahad/perimysium

• Katie Senn, Skyview Middle, Pueblo West - mnemonically/ proscenium

• Patrick Renegar, Horizon Community Middle School, Aurora - trierarchy/sukiyaki

• Jake Smith, Arrowhead Elementary, Highlands Ranch - colcannon/teratology


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Free Republic; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: congrats; homeschool; josiahhamill; notasian; proudpapa; spellingbee; winners
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1 posted on 03/30/2005 10:06:28 AM PST by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

Congrats!


2 posted on 03/30/2005 10:08:46 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan

bump


3 posted on 03/30/2005 10:10:49 AM PST by GOP_Proud (Those who proclaim tolerance have the least for my views.)
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To: MineralMan
Congrats!

to "politicket"

4 posted on 03/30/2005 10:12:55 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58

Actually, to Josiah Hamill. And to the rest of the top ten in the contest. I'm sure the parents are proud, too, but it's the kids who deserve all the credit.


5 posted on 03/30/2005 10:15:47 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: politicket

Congratulations to your son and to you!


6 posted on 03/30/2005 10:16:11 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Graybeard58

Good for him. Franktown is just up the road from us.


7 posted on 03/30/2005 10:16:25 AM PST by bruin66 (Time: Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.)
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To: agrace

Great Job! Note: 4 of the top 9 homeschooled.


8 posted on 03/30/2005 10:17:13 AM PST by lightingguy (Sorry, I got distracted)
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To: politicket

Congratulations!


9 posted on 03/30/2005 10:17:17 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Graybeard58

Way to go!


10 posted on 03/30/2005 10:18:17 AM PST by kassie ("It's the soldier who allows freedom of speech, not the reporter..")
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To: politicket
Nice job, Josiah.

As for you, Mr. politicket, whether we congratulate or tease you depends on your hang time on that post-win jump....

11 posted on 03/30/2005 10:18:34 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Graybeard58
Grate job.

Sownds like you are giving you're son a sooper edukation.

I went to publik scools but have done ok.
12 posted on 03/30/2005 10:20:18 AM PST by KidGlock (Get in the pit and try to love some one)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Thanks to everyone for the support. It was an unexpected victory and we are excited to see how the Lord uses this event to His glory!

There was a lady at the bee that does professional video documentaries. She put together a 3 minute video synopsis that folks might enjoy seeing. It's on the Rocky Mountain News website: http://www.insidedenver.com and can also be seen by clicking here.
13 posted on 03/30/2005 10:20:49 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket

14 posted on 03/30/2005 10:21:53 AM PST by MotleyGirl70 ("Wild, wild horses couldn't drag me away.." :)
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To: Graybeard58
He nailed stupefacient, meaning "bringing about a stupor,"

I am taking my annual golf/alcohol vacation next week. It is sure to be stupefacient.

15 posted on 03/30/2005 10:22:02 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: lightingguy
It was actually 4 out of the top 6! :-)

First, Third, Fifth, and Sixth. That wasn't too bad of a showing considering that fact that there were only 7 homeschoolers out of the original 263 kids.
16 posted on 03/30/2005 10:22:36 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket

Thank you so much for letting us know and providing the link! How exciting for you and especially, your son!


17 posted on 03/30/2005 10:23:51 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: r9etb

;-) Let's just say: "White men can't jump!". You can actually see a 3 minute video at the link a few posts up.


18 posted on 03/30/2005 10:23:52 AM PST by politicket
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To: KidGlock
Sownds like you are giving you're son a sooper edukation. I went to publik scools but have done ok.

ROFLOL!! Eye no whot yew meen!!
19 posted on 03/30/2005 10:24:59 AM PST by politicket
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To: Graybeard58; politicket
• Josiah Hamill, first place, home- schooled, Franktown - stupefacient

Fantastic! Young Josiah could teach many members of FreeRepublic a thing, or two!

20 posted on 03/30/2005 10:25:00 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic (" I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. " A. Lincoln)
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To: MotleyGirl70

Now that's cool!! Thanks!


21 posted on 03/30/2005 10:25:44 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket
Ooops, way to go to your son.
22 posted on 03/30/2005 10:26:53 AM PST by kassie ("It's the soldier who allows freedom of speech, not the reporter..")
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To: afraidfortherepublic
It's a good thing that my son doesn't hang out on DU! He would have misspelled his word: Stupid Faces

;-)
23 posted on 03/30/2005 10:27:05 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket

Congratulations!


24 posted on 03/30/2005 10:31:43 AM PST by talleyman (E=mc2 (before taxes))
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To: Graybeard58
"If you're nervous and don't know the word, just remember there are only 26 letters to choose from."

That makes it down right easy when you think of it that way.

25 posted on 03/30/2005 10:38:30 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: politicket
;-) Let's just say: "White men can't jump!". You can actually see a 3 minute video at the link a few posts up.

If you can't jump, it must be reaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyy slllloooooowwwwwwww motion video to last 3 whole minutes...

26 posted on 03/30/2005 10:38:33 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Graybeard58
The two battled for 45 minutes, correctly spelling words like querimonious and prestidigitator.

Prestidigitator!

No, you prestidigitator!

I'm not gonna press it, you press it!

Congratulations Josiah!

27 posted on 03/30/2005 10:41:38 AM PST by workerbee
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To: r9etb

The video is actually a synopsis of the oral rounds of the bee. It does show my jump, but you have to have REALLY good eyes because its time duration can be measured in microseconds....


28 posted on 03/30/2005 10:42:17 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket

ROTFLOL!


29 posted on 03/30/2005 10:43:29 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic (" I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. " A. Lincoln)
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To: workerbee

LOL!! That brought back fond memories of the Marx brothers!


30 posted on 03/30/2005 10:44:05 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket; lightingguy
First, Third, Fifth, and Sixth. That wasn't too bad of a showing considering that fact that there were only 7 homeschoolers out of the original 263 kids.

Wow. Said that way, it's even more impressive. Congratulations to your son!

31 posted on 03/30/2005 10:44:13 AM PST by agrace
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To: Graybeard58
In Colorado, once you win the state bee, you can never enter it again.

Did he sign with an agent?

32 posted on 03/30/2005 10:44:39 AM PST by GSWarrior
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To: 2Jedismom

Homeschool ping - FReeper's son wins state spelling bee!


33 posted on 03/30/2005 10:45:06 AM PST by agrace
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To: ironman73; smaagee

Why couldn't you guys spell like that when you were that age?


34 posted on 03/30/2005 10:45:24 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: All

I used to play the chionablepsia in high school band.


35 posted on 03/30/2005 10:45:48 AM PST by Drawsing (Congress doesn't need to see the light...they just need to feel the heat..Ronald Reagan)
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To: Graybeard58
stupefacient, meaning "bringing about a stupor

Alex, the answer is "What does Ted Kennedy do?"

36 posted on 03/30/2005 10:45:48 AM PST by Osage Orange (I can explain it to you.....But I can't make you understand it.)
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To: politicket

Congratulations to your son!

(Another home-schooled spelling bee winner. Hmmm...)


37 posted on 03/30/2005 10:50:44 AM PST by Redbob
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To: politicket

Congrats to you & the boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


38 posted on 03/30/2005 10:55:08 AM PST by Fierce Allegiance
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To: GSWarrior
Did he sign with an agent?

LOL!! The REALLY funny thing is that I was his spelling coach, and he won IN SPITE of that!
39 posted on 03/30/2005 10:56:37 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket
LOL!! The REALLY funny thing is that I was his spelling coach, and he won IN SPITE of that!

You just answered the question I posed to my sons in reply #34.

(I was their coach) Thought I'd better get this in before one of them zings me with the obvious answer.

40 posted on 03/30/2005 11:01:15 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58
(I was their coach) Thought I'd better get this in before one of them zings me with the obvious answer.

It sure is a good thing that kids are resilient!

Did I spell 'resilient' right?
41 posted on 03/30/2005 11:04:02 AM PST by politicket
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To: politicket

I won third place in the Mesa County spellling bee once...of course there weren't as many words back then....


42 posted on 03/30/2005 11:43:35 AM PST by GSWarrior
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To: politicket

felicitations and panegyrical venerations to you!


43 posted on 03/30/2005 12:01:08 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: Graybeard58

I am surprised they didnt disqualify him like in CA.


44 posted on 03/30/2005 12:03:26 PM PST by BurbankKarl (ua)
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To: politicket

Congratulations & best of luck to your son in the nat'l contest!


45 posted on 03/30/2005 12:04:52 PM PST by jla
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To: Graybeard58; politicket

Congrats to your son! Tell him we'll be praying for him to do his best in DC!


46 posted on 03/30/2005 12:05:01 PM PST by eyespysomething (It starts off as a drum circle, next thing you know you've got a college.)
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To: eyespysomething

bttt


47 posted on 03/30/2005 12:14:04 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: JerseyHighlander
felicitations and panegyrical venerations to you!

I think that I can say 'Thanks!' to that. ;-)
48 posted on 03/30/2005 12:19:06 PM PST by politicket
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To: eyespysomething

Thanks! We'll take all of the prayer that we can get. He's currently up to his kneecaps in Greek and Latin roots as I type this...


49 posted on 03/30/2005 12:20:57 PM PST by politicket
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To: BurbankKarl
I am surprised they didnt disqualify him like in CA.

I hadn't heard about this. What was the story?
50 posted on 03/30/2005 12:22:29 PM PST by politicket
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