Laredo Spelling Bee Champion just about finished the national semifinals

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The path for Laredo’s Spelling Bee Champion ended in the fifth round of the national quarter-finals, just before reaching the semi-finals.

Out of all the nationwide selected students, Emmanuel Rimocal – an eighth grader from Lamar Bruni Vergara Middle School – finished 31st in the competition as 12 of his competitors were eliminated in the fifth round of the competition.

It was then that Rimocal came across a word that was causing him some difficulty – Caucasus. He misspelled it, ending it with “is” instead of “us”.

“I’m tired and shocked,” said Rimocal. “I’m tired because yesterday I got the second COVID (vaccine) vaccination and I had to study its effects. And I’m shocked because I knew the word and could spell it correctly, but because I felt tired I just forgot to say one of the letters correctly. “


Rimocal spells pontifical in the fifth round and crinal in the fourth round as part of the quarterfinals. Previously, he had written Paraquat, Dragoon and Allocryptic correctly in the first three rounds of the preliminary rounds.

While Rimocal was proud of his accomplishments, he was nonetheless disappointed when he knew that if he had spelled it correctly, he would have had a place alongside the other 30 people in the semifinals.

Even if he failed to make it to the semifinals, his family was delighted with the eighth grader’s achievements in the last year he was able to attend – especially his mother, who accompanied him throughout the trip.

“Emmanuel finished in the fifth round,” said Maria Rimocal. “We are so grateful. Ms. Flores, LBV director, called him to congratulate him on making it into the fifth round. Everyone from the LBV cheered him. We are very grateful to God and so proud of our son Emmanuel Rimocal, who is 31st. “

Maria Rimocal also took the time to thank various people at the school who helped the young eighth grader stay in the competition throughout the competition. Among them was his Spelling Bee Proctor, Marie Salinas, who shared her precious time with them and preserved the Spelling Bee’s integrity.

Rimocal wants to focus on bigger things now that the pressure of the spelling competition is over.

“For now, God willing, I’m going to continue with the Tex Prep at TAMIU, which ends on July 1st,” Rimocal said.

Her family has also stated that he plans to quit several activities to get more things done this summer.

“Thank God he finished the second dose yesterday,” said Maria Rimocal. “In July he and his brother Nathaniel will serve as acolytes in San Martin. If the schedule allows, he wanted to start community service at the animal shelter. “

The family also stated that Emmanuel plans to attend summer camp July 19-21 and July 26-28 in preparation for Early College High School.

The family expressed that they could not be more proud of their son, who has shown great academic achievements during the spelling contest and other aspects of his further education, both in and outside of school.

“We are so proud of our son Emmanuel,” said Maria Rimocal. “For all his hard work, it was a family’s collective effort to be with him through God’s guidance and to support him on this unique journey.”

This was not the first time Rimocal had taken part in the national spelling bee, as he had already appeared on the national stage in fourth grade as a representative of the Kennedy Zapata Elementary School in El Cenizo. After that, he made himself a promise to return to the national stage and represented Laredo and Webb County well in 2021.

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