Michelle Yakubek of Bedford missed the cut for the final round Thursday at the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee when she spelled phylephebic incorrectly.
“I never practiced the word phylephebic before,” said Yakubek after the last round of oral spelling before the finals. “I should have thought more about the root.”
The Greek-derived word refers to the phase of maximum vigor of a race.
Before that, Yakubek breezed through the word barbellate, an adjective used to describe things covered with barbs, hooks, or bristles.
Thursday’s results also incorporated the scores from previous written tests of spelling and vocabulary. Only 12 spellers make the final.
“I’m a little bit disappointed.” said Yakubek, who attends the Harmony Science Academy in Euless. “But I’m still happy with the place I got.”
All spellers received Surface 3 tablets with keyboards and styluses, a dictionary, a U.S. Mint proof set and a membership to Britannica Online Premium. Semifinalists like Yakubek also received a $500 gift card and a medal.