St. Louis 8th grader is one of 30 students headed to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – After last year’s competition was cancelled due to COVID-19, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is back and one Missouri teen is still going strong after the beginning rounds.

St. Louis native Colette Giezentanner, 14, is the only Missourian left after a total of seven students from the Show-Me State made it to the preliminary round on Saturday. Four of the teens made it past the preliminaries, but after the quarterfinals on Tuesday, only Giezentanner was still standing. 

The preliminaries consisted of three rounds for each speller. Students had to spell a word correctly in the first round, then answer a multiple-choice question on the meaning of a word in the second round, and finally spell another word correctly before they could move on to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal round had the same format.

Fatidic, an adjective meaning of divination or prophecy, was the word that Giezentanner spelled correctly to push her through the quarterfinals and on to the semifinals. Starting with 209 spellers on day one of the competition, only 30 are headed to the semifinal round on June 27.

As posted on the Scripps National Spelling Bee website, Giezentanner’s hobbies include listening to music, reading, writing, spending time in nature and learning new things. She’ll often spend hours in a research “rabbit hole” while studying for school or the Bee.

Giezentanner has been here before, though. In 2019, she tied for 12th place out of more than 200 students from around the country competing in the Bee. 

With 2020 being a gap year and 2021 being her last year of eligibility to compete, Missourians can expect Giezentanner to be studied up and prepared to compete in the further rounds. 

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