Cotman returns from Washington, D.C.


Muriel Cotman, a 13-year-old homeschooled seventh-grader, returned to her home in Cuero from the 87th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Cotman competed with 280 other spellers from all over the United States and other countries the week of Memorial Day. Cotman returned with a medal for making it to the semi-finals with 45 other spellers. She placed 37th in the competition.
“Like all of the spellers there, I would have liked to have made it to the championship finals with the 12 spellers, and then won the big trophy,” Cotman said.
This year, two champions were named, which had not happened since 1962. The winners were Sriram Hathwar, an eighth-grader from Painted Post, N.Y., and Ansun Sujoe, a seventh-grader from Fort Worth.
“There were some really strong spellers there, and I did my best,” Cotman said.
All 281 spellers were given a Microsoft Surface Tablet. Microsoft was the 2014 Official Technology Champion of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
“It was awesome — none of us (spellers) were expecting that,” Cotman said.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee uses computerized tests which include vocabulary and spelling, plus the traditional spelling at the microphone.
“We’re very proud of her efforts,” said the Rev. Bill Cotman, Muriel’s father. 
“Scripps is really wonderful with the young spellers. All the events — the orientation, barbecue, assembly, competition, tour of D.C., awards banquet, and after-party — were well organized. The spellers were made to feel very special,” said Tessa Cotman, Muriel's mother.
Muriel’s trip to the spelling bee was sponsored by the Victoria Advocate.
“I’m so thankful for all the support from people in Cuero, and for the Victoria Advocate’s help — I couldn’t have competed in the Bee without so much help and support,” Cotman said. 
“I met new people, and got autographs from the other spellers, and some of their e-mail addresses, so we can keep in touch,” Cotman said. “I think all the spellers had fun. I know I did.”
Muriel is eligible for another year of competition. Spellers cannot be over 15 years of age, or past the eighth grade. There is no age limit in terms of how young the spellers can be.
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