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Price teen preps to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Posted at 7:03 AM, May 27, 2024

PRICE, Utah — Utah will be represented by four students in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, including one 8th grader from Price who put me to the test.

Cadi Heaton secured the regional trophy and a ticket to the Scripps National Spelling Bee with the word "disjunct."

"The thing I like most about the spelling bee is the competition," she reflected. "I like getting up there and kind of performing."

I asked Cadi to pick a challenging word for me to spell and see if she could stump me.

She gave me "Ardhamagadhi," which is "a Prakrit language of north India used in a large part of the Jain canon," according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

I soon regretted my decision to be quizzed as I very quickly spelled that word wrong but Cadi decided to give me a second chance, next selecting the word, "Dendrochronology."

It means the science of dating tree rings and the study of climate and atmosphere through wood on trees.

I almost got that word, only missing an "O" near the end.

Cadi said the long words are especially difficult when under pressure, it's easy to forget a pesky vowel.

Spelling isn't Cadi's only skill and she's a talented pianist with big dreams.

"I think I'd like to pursue some career in astrophysics or astronomy, stuff like that," she said.

Cadi is one of more than 200 spellers, including four from Utah, who are already in Maryland getting ready for the competition this week.

READ: South Jordan student one of 4 Utah contestants in Scripps National Spelling Bee

The semifinals kick off on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT, followed by finals on Thursday.

You can watch the competition and test your own spelling skills by tunning in on ION.