Kansas spelling champion and local eighth-grader Robbie Getz had a throat infection during this year's National Spelling Bee, but it was a different kind of infection that knocked him out of the competition Thursday.
Robbie was in the sixth round of the bee when he misspelled "brucellosis," a bacterial infection that causes fever. His rendition of the word was "brucilisosis."
The words that Robbie managed to spell correctly were "drudgery," "abysmally," "leucocholy," "cashmerette" and "profilograph." He ended up placing 18th in the competition out of 226 contestants.
"I thought it was really fun," Robbie said of the spelling bee in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., this morning.
This was the second year in a row that Robbie represented Kansas in the national bee. Last year, he was eliminated in the first round of the competition when he had trouble with "nasturtium."
Robbie and his parents, Jon and Judy Getz, and his sister, Hilary, will be staying in Washington until Sunday to enjoy some sightseeing.
The spelling bee was won by Amy Dimak, 13, Seattle.