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Whiz kids from KC grab national spotlight after spelling bee that ran out of words

Updated: 2014-02-24T22:20:50Z

By LISA GUTIERREZ

The Kansas City Star

How do you spell famous?

Ask the two young spelling bee kids who whipped through 66 rounds at the Jackson County Spelling Bee on Saturday without misspelling a word. And now everyone from CNN to “Good Morning America” is talking about them.

Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary in Lee’s Summit, and Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier School of Innovation, a Kansas City charter school, raced past all the other kids in 19 rounds.

Then they just kept going, like Energizer bunnies who’d memorized the dictionary, on stage at the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza Branch.

“We ran out of words,” the bee’s co-coordinator Mary Olive Thompson told The Kansas City Star.

She called the showdown “legendary.”

The story has shown up in TV reports and in The New York Daily News and other newspapers under headlines calling it an epic duel.

On Monday, the folks on ABC’s “Good Morning America” reported on the standoff, noting that a trip to the National Spelling Bee awaits the eventual winner. (The local bee will resume on March 8.)

The “GMA” folks started chanting: “Send them both, send them both!”

We couldn’t agree M-O-R-E.


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