Spelling bee champ takes preliminary computer test at nationals

Regional Spelling Bee Champion Muriel Cotman, 13, at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Md.
  • TO WATCH

  • To see Muriel Cotman, the regional spelling bee champion, compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, tune into ESPN.

    • Preliminaries will be streaming live 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN3.

    • Semifinals will be broadcast live 9 ...

  • SHOW ALL »
  • TO WATCH

    To see Muriel Cotman, the regional spelling bee champion, compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, tune into ESPN.

    • Preliminaries will be streaming live 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN3.

    • Semifinals will be broadcast live 9 a.m. to noon Thursday on ESPN2.

    • Championship finals will be broadcast live 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.

    Source: National Scripps Spelling Bee

If there's one thing Muriel Cotman said she has noticed on her trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition, it's that the nation's capital is very different from the Lone Star State.

"There's all different types of people, and they all seem pretty nice," Muriel, 13, said. "It's been cool exploring what's out there."

Muriel and her parents are staying at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, where the national spelling competition began Tuesday morning with a spelling and vocabulary test on computers.

"Some of the words I had studied; some I didn't know," Muriel said over the phone after the computer test Tuesday. "I guessed on some based on the language of origin."

Her results won't be in until Wednesday, when the second part of the preliminary rounds will start with the oral portion of the spelling contest, Muriel said.

The live broadcast of the national competition begins at 7 a.m. Wednesday on ESPN3.

"In preparation for tomorrow, my mother is going to quiz me, and I'll look over the words from this morning," Muriel said.

Of the tourist stops she's made with her family, Muriel said she has found the Peeps and Co. candy store the most interesting so far.

"Did you know there are sour watermelon Peeps?" Muriel asked. "I didn't try them, but I saw them."