37 New Hampshire students made it to the oral round of the 60th New Hampshire Spelling Bee.
The finalists appeared onstage at the Capitol Center for the Arts in front of their friends and families.
12-year-old Emma Bradley of Bow said the road to finals was difficult:
“It was pretty tough. There was a written round in the morning where you had to spell 50 words. They weren’t easy.”
Emma aced the written test but was knocked out in a later round.
Ultimately, the competition came down to a standoff between Isabell Russel, of Hudson Memorial School, and Hannah Miller, of Rundlett Middle School.
Hannah seized victory by correctly spelling ‘subaqueous’ (sub-AY-kwee-us), an adjective that means underwater.
The eighth grader says she was only expecting second place, right up until the end:
“It was terrifying. I kept thinking ‘She’s gonna’ win! Oh I really wanna’ go! At least I get second place. But I got first place, which I didn’t think would happen.”
Hannah Miller will go on to represent New Hampshire at the National Spelling Bee in Washington DC in May.