Results of 2018 North America Spelling Champion Challenge – Towson Division


JULY 16 – After a nailbiting championship final during the Towson Division of the 2018 North America Spelling Champion Challenge – including one round in which all three top spellers missed their words – the victory ultimately went to Paul Hamrick, of Salinas, California. Hamrick, a two-time Scripps National Spelling Bee competitor who tied for seventh place this year, impressed the crowd with his calm demeanor, regular questions, and giddy smile when he spelled apodyterium in the sixteenth round for the win.

Hamrick’s only stumble came in the seventh round, on the lengthy litiscontestation. But because of a rule that states that if all competitors miss their word in a round, all may continue, he was reinstated, along with his fellow competitors.

Ashrita Gandhari, of Lynn, Massachusetts was the runner-up, showing a winning demeanor onstage with words she knew, and a clear skill with deciphering words she was less familiar with. Sailing past words like periosteum and nitidous, her eventual downfall came with the word exequatur.

Third place went to Ryan Himmelsbach of East Setauket, New York, whose speedy and confident delivery on words earlier in the competition began to slow as the competition grew stiffer. He missed the word kiskadee in the eighth round.

The champion of China’s 2018 National Spelling Bee, Zijin Wang, survived three rounds in the championship finals before tying for fifth overall, missing xeriscape. Zijin Wang, a fourth grader from Tianjin is also known by his English name, Yoyo.

Hamrick will join the eventual champion of the Riverside, California division of the North America Spelling Champion Challenge in Beijing, China this August to compete in the Global Champion Spelling Competition of China (GCSCC). This competition strives to be a truly international spelling bee, with competitors who have won their country’s national spelling bees. Held in Beijing for the past three years, the GCSCC, like the North America Spelling Champion Challenge, is a program overseen by Spelling Bee of China, based out of the city of Tianjin.

 





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