WNY speller strikes out in National Spelling Bee

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A speller in the National Spelling Bee who was representing all of Western New York struck out in the third round of the competition.

Among the National Spelling Bee’s list of 285 participants in the third round, speller number 152 — better known as Michael W. Sobol — was the only representative from Western New York. Sobol, 12, was one of 16 participants from New York State.

Sobol says he is a voracious reader and has great interest in the the U.S. military and the wars it has fought. He says his favorite subjects are social studies, history and geography; he also says he can tackle tough math problems.

The Williamsville native is representing Saints Peter & Paul School and was sponsored by The Buffalo News.

Sobol stumbled on a question which asked the meaning of the word desuetude. Sobol responded emotionally conflicted, but the answer was apparently abandoned.

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