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May 8, 2013 12:56 PM by Ryan Haarer

Tucson boy, 13, to compete in national spelling bee championship

TUCSON - Once a year a couple hundred kids from across the country head to Washington D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship. This year a Tucson student is heading to the capitol.

Christopher O'Conner is just 13 years old. He's a normal kid who goes to class at St. Cyril. He's been busy winning spelling bees all over the state and it's earned him a trip to the big show.

For this 7th grader, studying doesn't stop when he's done with his history homework.

"Practice, practice, practice, and more practice," Christopher said.

Christopher has been studying words and he's not getting a grade.

"Christopher is a very serious student. He takes his studies very serious. But to listen to him as he goes through the spelling bee, he always asks for the word of origin, defining it, he really thinks through the process of spelling a word," principal Ann Zeches said.

To be one of 281 competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Christopher must learn all the tricks.

"Certain languages have certain patterns. So that's helpful but then there are lots of exceptions and that's when you need to memorize."

He leaves for D.C. at the end of the month. We wish him the best of luck!

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