Connor Gunsbury spells his way to national semifinals | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Connor Gunsbury spells his way to national semifinals

Posted: June 1, 2011 - 6:31pm

Forestview Middle School eighth-grader Connor Gunsbury qualified Wednesday for semifinals in the Scripps National Spelling Bee  in Washington, D.C.

Gunsbury earned 24 out of 25 on the written test Tuesday during Round 1. 

A total of 275 spellers competed in two oral rounds Wednesday. Gunsbury, 13, the son of Brent and Jenny Gunsbury of Nisswa, spelled “ineradicable” correct in Round 2 and “sclerosis” correct in Round 3 to move on to the semifinals. His point total was 30 out of 31.

“I was kind of nervous (during the bee),” Gunsbury said in a telephone interview. “I’m having a good time though, it’s cool.”

Gunsbury’s initial goal was to make it to semifinals in the national bee, so now he said he “might as well go all the way.”

Semifinals will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday and the finals will be aired live at 7:30 p.m. The semifinals and finals will be broadcast on ESPN.

Gunsbury also was interviewed Wednesday by ESPN about the spelling bee.