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    Sixth-grader Jack Maglalang gets a hug from his dad, Mike, after winning his second spelling bee and a Central Valley title.


    Zoe Swain, a fourth-grader at Mariemont Elementary School in Sacramento, waits to spell her next word Wednesday in the California Central Valley Spelling Bee at the Scottish Rite Center.


    Jamey Guzman, a sixth-grader at Maeola R. Beitzel Elementary School in Elk Grove, grimaces after misspelling the word "shogun."


    Alex Llamado of Edward Harris Jr. Middle School waits to spell his next word. Llamado finished sixth in the spelling competition.

More Information

  • 1. Jack Maglalang, sixth-grader, Pershing School in Sacramento County
    2. Savitri Asokan, eighth-grader, Olympus School, Placer County
    3. Catherine Cortez, eighth-grader, St. Basil's in Solano County
    4. Aditya Mishra, fifth-grader from Excelsior School in Placer County
    5. Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, fourth-grader from Folsom Hills School in Sacramento County
    6. Alex Llamado, eighth-grader from Edward Harris School in Sacramento County
    7. Christina Bussone, eighth-grader from Bridgeway Island School in Yolo County
    8. Steven Abramowitz, seventh-grader from Granite Oaks School in Placer County
    9. John Gulden, sixth-grader from Elitha Donner School in Sacramento County
    10. Alicia Gutierrez, eighth-grader, St. Joseph School in Placer County.

Orangevale youth again captures crown in Central Valley Spelling Bee

Published: Thursday, Mar. 8, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Friday, Jun. 1, 2012 - 9:35 pm

A year of experience translated many ways for Jack Maglalang at Wednesday's 29th annual California Central Valley Spelling Bee.

The Orangevale sixth-grader appeared calm, taking his time on words he was unsure of, particularly the obscure word "obduced."

After the group of 57 students was whittled down to two, Maglalang correctly spelled "olid" and "toadyism" for the win at the Scottish Rite Center in Sacramento.

Eighth-grader Savitri Asokan of Olympus Junior High in Placer County placed second.

Last year, during his first spelling bee competition, Maglalang blushed on stage as he declined an acceptance speech after the trophy ceremony.

This year, Maglalang leaned into the microphone and thanked his parents. And then he thanked his teacher, classmates and the event's sponsor, The Bee.

"The experience he had last year helped him a lot," said Maglalang's mother, Anna. "He began studying in August."

Maglalang, who attends Pershing Elementary School in Orangevale, competed against the top spellers in third through eighth grades from nine counties. He now moves on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

Maglalang said he is hoping to make the national semifinals this year. He was not among the 41 kids to move on in last year's main event, which is covered live on ESPN.

"The words there are a lot harder," said Maglalang, who said spelling well is not about memorizing a list of words.

"I learned words have different roots and the definition helps you figure out those roots," he said. "I was a little more nervous this year. I didn't want to rush it and make a mistake."

Maglalang said he recognized every word he was given at the competition except for "obduced" – which means to cover with.

"It was kind of a guess," he said. "I asked the definition and etymology and took an educated guess."

Seventh-grader Steven Abramowitz of Granite Oaks Middle School in Rocklin shook his head over the word he missed: "qwerty."

Most keyboards' top row of letters spell that word: q-w-e-r-t-y.

"I knew it," said Abramowitz, who placed eighth. "I didn't think it was a word."

Abramowitz said he was feeling proud about successfully spelling "fictile," which he said clicked when he asked for an alternative pronunciation.

"I felt cool about 'fictile,' " he said.

Catherine Cortez, an eighth-grader from St. Basil's School in Solano County, placed third. Aditya Mishra, a fifth-grader from Excelsior Elementary School in Roseville, placed fourth. Mishra is the brother of 2010 winner, Anvita Mishra.

Fourth-grader Snehaa Ganesh Kumar of Folsom Hills Elementary School placed fifth. It was Kumar's second competition. She was seated next to Maglalang.

"It was really fun," she said.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Melody Gutierrez

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