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Local student in 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee reflects on competition

Ben Evans tied for 22nd place out 245 spellers last week.
Posted at 11:21 PM, Jun 04, 2024

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) – It has been a whirlwind of a week for Poway eighth grader Ben Evans and his family.

“I had no idea of how big of production it was until I got there,” Ben Evans said.

The production was in the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee, where Ben Evans competed last week as the San Diego County regional champ near Washington, D.C.

"I think of it as like a big puzzle of everything that I've heard from other people spelling the words and even just studying on my own," Ben Evans said. "At that point, you just piece it together and hope it's right, and there's nothing you can about it past that."

He got past words like Gondwana, lycopene and torchere with his family standing and smiling with pride as Ben spelled his way to the semifinals.

"It was quite a proud moment for us and just, you know, that he was able to do so well. And was very calm up there. We looked up there, and we felt pressure in the audience,” Scott Evans, Ben’s father, said.

Unfortunately, Ben Evans heard the bell after misspelling a word and was eliminated. He tied for 22nd out of 245 spellers.

"I did not honestly think I was making it that far at all," Ben Evans said. "I was pretty set on making it past the first day. But past then, when it's off [the] list, I had no idea what was going to happen."

Now that the Evans family is back from the Bee, Ben Evans said he’s thankful for the love from coming from home.

"It was all of my friends and the community and my teachers, coaches, teammates, people from church that were supporting here. It was just amazing to see all of that,” Ben Evans said.

And there’s a takeaway from the lasting impact of the Bee.

"How do we use this going forward like in all of our; whether it be with your music, whether it be with sports, school; learning these tools on how to study better and how to prepare better and to just kind of give it that all,” Scott Evans said.