OKLAHOMA kids advance to second round of national spelling bee

Wednesday, May 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma's entrants in the 2001 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee have advanced to Wednesday's second round.

Bobby Heffley, 15, and Carl Schwager, 10, correctly spelled a word referring to a French sauce and a Spanish word in competition on Tuesday.

Bobby sat in the third row at the Grand Hyatt Hotel ballroom in Washington D.C., and stared out into the crowd while other 10- to 15-year-olds spelled words like ``aesculapian,'' ``phyllophorous'' and ``archivalia'' incorrectly.

When it was his turn, the Idabel resident walked to the front of the stage, folded his hands in front of him and called out the word ``bordelaise.''

He correctly spelled the word, which refers to a roux or brown sauce.

Bobby's father, David Heffley, said this was his son's first major trip in a large city.

``He had a window seat and as we were flying out, he was laughing to himself and enjoying every bit of it,'' Heffley said.

Carl, who is home schooled, correctly spelled ``chiclero,'' which means a gatherer of chicle, an ingredient in chewing gum.

The Ponca City fourth-grader stood nervously at the microphone until the word was pronounced. A big smile then came over his face.

``I asked for a definition, but I knew the word,'' Carl said later. ``I had studied it with my mom.''

Bruce Schwager, Carl's father said Carl prepared well.

``We knew if he'd take his time and not get in a hurry spelling it, that he'd get it right.''

Carl won the Eastern Oklahoma Bee, sponsored by the Tulsa World, on March 22. Bobby won the 2001 Scripps Howard-Daily Oklahoman Spelling Bee in March in Oklahoma City.

The winner of this year's spelling bee will receive $10,000.