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Santa Fe Trail 8th-grader Dominic Marroquin prepares for Scripps National Spelling Bee

'I’m expecting a lot harder words'
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Posted at 5:00 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 06:00:16-04

OLATHE, Kan.  — Practice and luck propelled Santa Fe Trail Middle School eight-grade student Dominic Marroquin, 13, through the Olathe School District’s spelling bee into the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

With this year being his third time in the district spelling bee, Dominic says he had a better idea of what to expect.

“I knew how it worked, and this time I feel like I really prepared a lot. I studied the words, and I got a lot of words I knew,” he said.

Although he admits there was some element of luck in receiving words he knew, practicing etymology and how root words work was key to his success.

While tackling the English language — which Dominic regards as a “very difficult language” — can seem daunting, he says his love of reading has provided a strong foundation.

“I read a lot, so there’s some words I know from books that I read,” Dominic said.

Besides reading, Dominic says he uses the Word Club app and Hexco website to study. He’ll even study with his parents, having them read the words to him flashcard-style.

“I’ve sort of upped the studying in the past couple weeks cause I’ve been really busy throughout all of March and April,” he said. “I’ve been getting less busy with track ending and everything, so I’ve been upping the studying to one or two hours a day.”

Going into the competition, Dominic anticipates other competitors are feeling the same as him, even with 2022 being his first trip and also his last since this is his final year of eligibility.

“I’m expecting a lot of kids that are in the same boat as me. They won’t know what to expect, but I’m expecting a lot harder words,” Dominic said.

No matter where he places, Dominic is confident the experience will stick with him moving forward.

“I think this honestly just helps me in the future because I’ll be more literate, so I’ll have better vocabulary,” he said. “That’s just something that helps for future jobs and future opportunities.”

Dominic will begin ninth grade in the fall at Olathe North High School in the Distinguished Scholars Academy with plans to select science as his area of study.