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Lucas Urbanski in spelling bee semifinals

Local champ hoping to advance to Thursday’s championship round

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 11:39 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014 1:03 p.m. CST
(Sarah Nader- snader@shawmedia.com)
Lucas Urbanski (left) and his twin sister, Clare Urbanski, talk to each other after taking photos at the McHenry County Spelling Bee at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Lucas Urbanski beat out his sister, Clare, to win the spelling bee for the fourth consecutive time. He will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington at the end of May.

Two words are all that stand between 14-year-old Lucas Urbanski and the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals Thursday.

Urbanski, the four-time reigning McHenry County spelling bee champion, has to clear the semifinals Thursday morning.

12:20 p.m. update: Urbanski was not selected for the finals despite spelling two words correctly.

11:15 a.m. update: Urbanski correctly spelled "epixylous" (growing on wood) in Round 6 of the semifinals. He now awaits the end of the round and the announcement of the finalists.

9:30 a.m. update: Urbanski correctly spelled "cataphora" in Round 5 of the semifinals, his first word of the day. "Cataphora" is the use of a grammatical substitute (such as a pronoun) that has the same reference as a following word or phrase.

He has two rounds of one word each to spell correctly – if he scored adequately on a written exam he took Wednesday evening, he goes to the championship round Thursday evening.

“I feel pretty good about that last test, but I still have to spell my words right tomorrow,” Urbanski said after taking the exam.

Urbanski clinched a spot in the semifinals Wednesday by properly spelling “gymkhana” and “Yinglish.”

To save you a trip to the dictionary, “gymkhana” is a Hindustani word for a location where athletic contests are held, or the contests themselves.

“Yinglish,” a portmanteau of “Yiddish English,” refers to Yiddish words that have made their way into colloquial English.

The semifinals will be broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon on ESPN2.

Finalists will be announced immediately after the semifinals, and the championship finals will be broadcast from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.

The spelling bee is being held in National Harbor, Maryland.

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