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Pleasant Hill Middle School 7th-grader Antonia Antov prepares for Scripps National Spelling Bee

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Posted at 5:00 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 06:00:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Ready for her spelling to be put to the ultimate test, Pleasant Hill Middle School seventh-grader Antonia Antov doesn’t “feel very pressured” going into the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Antonia, 12, of Peculiar, Missouri, says she wasn’t always at Pleasant Hill Middle School, but is no stranger to spelling competitions, having placed second at her old school.

“But now that I’m here, I love the school spelling bee. I won the Case County Spelling Bee, so now I get to go to nationals,” Antonia said.

For Antonia, her motive is simple: “I just like the spelling bee.”

“It’s kind of more fun than competitive to me,” she said.

To prepare for nationals, she says she relies on roots, origins and patterns picked up from learning different languages, which her mom says Antonia teaches herself.

Noting that the Cass County and Pleasant Hill Middle School rounds were “pretty easy,” Antonia says she’s expecting “more of a challenge” at nationals.

While her mom says Antonia’s goal is to make it to the semifinals, Antonia simply wants “to get at least a few words right.”

The preliminaries of the national bee will be televised at 8 a.m. CT on Tuesday via Ion Plus.