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.
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.