LEETONIA- Despite falling short of the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee last week, Leetonia eighth grader Sash Davis returned to his home town triumphant.
Participating in his second consecutive national bee, Sash improved upon his previous performance by spelling both his second and third round words correctly. His score of 12 of 24 on the spelling and vocabulary test in the first round placed him around the middle of contestants competing for the semifinals qualification.
"I'd be happy with [any finish] because I was able to be there," Sash said. "Personally I feel I represented the school well, and I hope they feel the same."
Sash correctly spelled intaglio and tamarack. The computerized spelling and vocabulary test included 24 spelling words and 26 vocabulary words, with 12 of each selected at random for scoring. Only 46 of nearly 300 contestants advanced to the semifinals.
With the conclusion of the tournament, though, comes an end to Sash's spelling bee career. He'll have to say goodbye to people and the challenges associated with the events.
"I'll miss the competition of it all," he said. "And I'll miss the friends I've made and meeting the more famous people - the judges and pronouncer.
"It's interesting and challenging. I can put my brain to work."
Sash spent eight days and seven nights in Washington D.C. with his mother, Rosalie Davis, while competing in the bee. He said his favorite parts included the awards banquet and after party where he was able to share time with the other participants in activities such as dance competitions, a cake eating contest and a picture studio. He also visited Old Alexandria and Washington D.C. where he toured the White House and the Capitol.
Sash's trip to the national bee was co-sponsored by the Salem News, Morning Journal and The Review. As a contestant he received a Microsoft Surface RT Tablet and keyboard.