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Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald , Published May 30 2012

Northwood boy advances to semifinals of national spelling bee

NORTHWOOD, N.D. - Ty Korsmo, the North Dakota spelling champ from Northwood, is among 50 young spellers out of 278 to advance to Thursday’s semifinals in the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

The 12-year-old correctly spelled both words given him during Wednesday’s on-stage preliminary rounds. Those results combined with scores from Tuesday’s computer spelling test gave him just enough to make the cutoff for the semifinals, his mother Debbie Korsmo reported.

The computer test involved spelling 50 words, with points awarded for correctly spelling a pre-selected 25 of the 50. Ty missed eight words, and all eight were among the 25 that counted.

“That gave him 17 points, and I thought, ‘It’s over,’ ” Debbie Korsmo said. “But it was a really tough test, and his results there and on the two rounds (Wednesday) put him right at the border to get into the semifinals.

Ty correctly spelled procacious (adjective meaning pert, petulant, forward, saucy) in the first preliminary round Wednesday and gyascutus (a fictional quadruped whose legs are longer on one side than on the other to facilitate living on a hillside) in the second preliminary.

Debbie Korsmo said that she and her husband, Mark, and Ty’s three younger siblings “were totally ecstatic” when they learned late Wednesday that Ty had advanced.

The family planned to go out for dinner and then go swimming.

“We didn’t bring a whole lot of study materials along,” Debbie Korsmo said. “We figure that what’s in his head is in his head.”

The semifinal round begins at 9 a.m. CDT Thursday and will be shown live on ESPN2, with the championship round beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday and broadcast live on ESPN.