When University School student, Will McCollom, left the campus of Oral Roberts in early 2016, he earned a first place finish in the Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee, a cash grand prize of $800.00, and a trip to compete against some of the best spellers in the nation.
Now, McCollom is preparing for his second straight regional spelling bee and says he plans to continue competing as long as he can or until he reaches his goal of becoming the national spelling bee champion.
"I kind of want to win it big this time. That was really my intention. I didn't really get it - I mean get my goal. So, I'm going to try again and that's good. I'm kind of young," McCollom said.
McCollom, who is completing his 3rd grade year, will have five more chances to earn national championship honors before eventually graduating from the 8th grade.
McCollom earned a second trip to the Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee by defeating a classmate in a span of 16 rounds and admits it was one of his greatest challenges in his young competitive spelling career.
"That was very, very, very, very stressful. There were really hard words and I didn't know them and I got some wrong, but I hung in there," McCollom said.
Although this year's field has more than 50 students, McCollom plans to help other competitors if they appear confused or lack confidence.
"There's this moment where all the spellers are together before the spelling actually starts. So I try to help some people that are nervous," McCollom said.
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