Jacob Williamson, 15, of Cape Coral is making national news today. Williamson waited patiently while 10 of the 12 finalists at the Scripps National Spelling Bee were announced. When his name was called to compete in the final round on ESPN at 8 p.m. Thursday, Williamson appeared overjoyed.
Because his birthday is in October, this is Williamson’s final year of eligibility for the competition. He is the oldest contestant at the spelling bee, and he’s made this year count.
Williamson said in an interview he wasn’t sure he would get to the final round. He collapsed to his knees when he heard his name called, and executive director Paige Kimble placed his finalist medal around his neck.
According to a report from Naples Daily News, Williamson spoke about his demonstrative style,
“I’ll just keep reacting every time I get a word I know, that’s what I do,” Williamson told the Daily News. Williamson created his own dictionary of 6,000-8,000 words, and he’s continuing to study the book until the final competition.
Some the words that have served him well in the competition are terms that would challenge the best spellers. These include two of the terms that helped him get through to the final round:
“Euripus,” a Greek-Latin term for a channel without violent currents helped him through the early rounds and “harlequinade,” meaning a farce. The latter pushed Williamson through the sixth round of the competition.
Catch Williamson tonight on the Scripps National Spelling Bee on ESPN at 8 p.m. Thursday.