Cuero student advances to semifinals at Scripps National Spelling Bee

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

May 28, 2014 at 12:28 a.m.
Updated May 29, 2014 at 12:29 a.m.

Muriel Cotman advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition semifinals Wednesday evening.

Muriel, 13, of Cuero, spelled her first word correctly at the microphone, b-a-r-u-k-h-z-y, which means Afghan hound, her father, the Rev. Bill Cotman, said.

The Cotmans arrived in Washington, D.C., Saturday and got their first taste of competition Tuesday morning when Muriel took a preliminary computer spelling and vocabulary test.

The Victoria Advocate sponsored the trip for Muriel and a member of her family, however, both of Muriel's parents chose to attend.

"She's pretty calm," Cotman said, referring to Muriel. "Mama is less calm."

The second word she spelled correctly was h-y-d-r-o-c-h-o-r-e, a plant that depends on water for the distribution of its seeds or spores.

The computer test scores from Tuesday and Wednesday's oral spelling scores helped determine which students would take the second round of computer tests, Cotman said.

The computer tests include definitions as well as spelling, her father said.

By Wednesday evening, Muriel was named one of the 46 semifinalists to take the second test.



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