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Cleburne speller knocked out of quarterfinals in national bee

WASHINGTON — Cleburne eighth-grader Hannah Chi was eliminated this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

She misspelled tularemia, an infectious disease of wild rabbits, rodents, humans, and some domestic animals. She spelled it toularemia.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” said Hannah, who was studying even as she prepared to step on the stage at the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel before the round began. “I didn’t know the word.”

She was among 27 spellers eliminated in the quarterfinals out of 90 participants. There were 288 spellers who started the competition. Hannah, who is sponsored by the Star-Telegram, placed in the top 90 through the combination of the results of Round 1, a written test, and Round 2, which took place earlier today. She correctly spelled 17 of 25 words being scored on the written test (contestants were given 50 words to spell but only 25 were scored) and then spelled vaccinate correctly.

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