Cundey's National Bee quest falls short

Girl, 11, barely misses goal of reaching the semifinals

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Rachael Cundey's quest to make it into the semifinals of the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee fell short Thursday.

Rachael Cundey misspelled "mihrab" in the third round. 
  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rachael Cundey misspelled "mihrab" in the third round.

In round two, Rachael, a fifth-grade South Columbia Elementary student, correctly spelled "nocive," a synonym for hurtful. However, in the third round, she misspelled "mihrab," a decorative panel in a Muslim mosque indicating the direction of Mecca.

"She's kind of embarrassed because she knew how to spell it," Tammy Cundey said of her daughter.

Rachael immediately tried to correct herself but it was too late. The judges replayed the tape but went with the original response in accordance with bee rules. Rachael said she got nervous.

"She just added another letter," Cundey said.

Students were selected for the semifinals based on points earned for correctly spelled words during Thursday's three rounds. The first round was a computer test where students typed out their answers. The next two rounds were both on stage. The contest started with 273 students and was cut to 48 for today's semifinals.

This year marked the second in a row that the 11-year-old represented Augusta in the national bee. Last year, she did not reach the semifinals. However, it hasn't changed her determination.

Rachael, who plays the flute and piano, sings solos at school, takes lead parts in school plays and is an anchor in her school's morning show, said she'll continue to add spelling and language patterns to her busy list.

"She's in fifth grade so she knows there's plenty of other opportunities," her mother said.

Comments (13) Add comment
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Nightwing
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Nightwing 06/03/10 - 02:36 pm
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Good luck to Rachel Cundey.

Good luck to Rachel Cundey. Congrats on all the hard work.

bettyboop
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bettyboop 06/03/10 - 05:53 pm
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A mihrab (Arabic: محراب pl.

A mihrab (Arabic: محراب pl. محاريب‎ maharib) is a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla; that is, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and ......hmmmmmm this a word this child should know?????.. another bit of PC... "DELETEDED" !!Perhaps this is a word that barry and his minions would have knowledge of.........

KSL
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KSL 06/03/10 - 06:11 pm
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I agree with you, bb. This is

I agree with you, bb. This is perhaps the first time I've ever been proud of someone misspelling a word in a spelling bee.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 06/03/10 - 06:15 pm
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I agree bettyboop. This is

I agree bettyboop. This is politically correct feces on a level with the monument mosque. Congrats to Rachel Cundey for getting so far in the spelling competition. I apologize for my country.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 06/03/10 - 06:31 pm
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I was going to say that is a

I was going to say that is a word I have never heard!

angeleyes
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angeleyes 06/03/10 - 06:54 pm
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good luck to you rachel. i

good luck to you rachel. i hope you win..very smart girl. maybe all the other kids should take note of your accomplishments

Nightwing
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Nightwing 06/03/10 - 08:24 pm
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All part of the

All part of the "Islamification" of America.

Zoe
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Zoe 06/04/10 - 06:17 am
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Cute smart kid:)

Cute smart kid:)

Dixieman
17550
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Dixieman 06/04/10 - 06:20 am
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Oh come on! How about

Oh come on! How about detente (from the French), glasnost (Russian), bungalow (India), etc. It's just a word, and ignorance of others' cultures does not help anything.

aureliusdios
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aureliusdios 06/04/10 - 09:31 am
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Let's politicize the spelling

Let's politicize the spelling bee! Great job Rachel. Some folks look for the ugly in everything. Can you spell--curmudgeon?

Emerydan
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Emerydan 06/04/10 - 11:44 am
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I've freankly never

I've freankly never understood spelling bees.. it seems to me it would be better to have vocabulary bees, where students have to actually understand the meanings of the words. Most of these words are probably not ever used by Literary phds.

Emerydan
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Emerydan 06/04/10 - 11:44 am
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the msp in the above post was

the msp in the above post was intential.

Emerydan
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Emerydan 06/04/10 - 11:44 am
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as was the one above

as was the one above

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