BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Boston Centers for Youth & Families is hosting the 14th annual Citywide Spelling Bee, to determine which speller will get to go to the national tournament.
Saturday's spelling bee featured 19 contestants from grades three through eight. This year's winner was Sulayman Abdirahman, a 12-year-old from Roxbury who won by spelling the word "Apres" correctly. Last year's winner, 12-year-old Anneliese Yu from the West End, placed in second. The spelling bee went for 12 rounds and 29 final rounds.
With this victory, Abdirahman secured a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C, which is the nation's largest and longest-running spelling bee.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu was a special guest at this year's event, she gave a speech prior to the event and presented participation medals to each contestant. Mayor Wu praised the hard work of the contestants and told WBZ's Mike Macklin she knows hard spelling bees can be because she used to do them as a kid.
"It was a great learning experience," Mayor Wu said. "I know how much work goes into this. I know how nerve-racking it is for them and their families and I'm proud to see them stepping up very bravely to take part."
Former Bruins player and 1980 Olympic gold medalist Dave Silk was also there for the event to serve as records judge. The Boston Bruins Foundation is a longtime sponsor of the spelling bee.
WBZ's Mike Macklin reports.