Nevadan continues run at National Spelling Bee


Reno seventh-grader Megan Allison Pineda correctly spelling "rasgado" during the afternoon round today of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

"Rasgado" is a noun.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, It is the musical effect produced by your thumb when it sweeps through the strings of a guitar.

The 12-year-old Nevada champion earlier in the day correctly spelled "urbiculture" as she competed against 277 other spellers gathered at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

The two correct spellings gave Megan six points that will help determine if she makes the semi-finals tomorrow. Today's points will be added to whatever she scored on a written spelling exam she took on Tuesday.

After tackling her two words, all Megan could do was wait.  No more than 50 semifinalists from the field of 278 spellers will be announced later today.

Tomorrow's semi-finals will be broadcast during the day on ESPN2.  The finals will be broadcast on primetime tomorrow on ESPN.

Megan, a student at Billinghurst Middle School,  is making her first appearance in the national contest.  Last year's Nevada champion, Dakota Jones, placed fifth.