Vindicator's champ ousted from D.C. spelling bee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Vindicator's 85th Regional Spelling Bee champion, Mackenzie Sambroak, has been eliminated from the Scripps National Spelling Bee after misspelling "inanga."

Mackenzie is a fifth-grade student at Roosevelt Elementary. She won The Vindicator bee in March after correctly spelling "tour de force," and after beating nearly 50 competitors from Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Winning the local bee qualified Mackenzie to move on to the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee, which began today with 519 competitors from across the country. The trip, including hotel and travel accommodations, tours, meals and incidental expenses for Mackenzie and an adult escort were paid by The Vindicator.

The preliminary competition takes place today and Wednesday. Participants took a multiple-choice test this morning, then continued with an onstage oral spelling round this afternoon, with an incorrect spelling eliminating a contestant from the bee. Oral spelling continues Wednesday, then the finals take place Thursday.

Mackenzie is one of 41 spellers who have been eliminated so far, according to the bee's blog.

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