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`ANTHROPONYMY’ FELLS UTAH SPELLER

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Utahn Michael Barrus Jr. didn't know how to spell "anthroponymy" on Thursday - but he'll probably never forget how for the rest of his life.

That word - a fancy designation for the study of personal names - knocked Barrus out of the National Spelling Bee in the fifth round Thursday after the Alpine eighth-grader had correctly spelled four other words and survived the first nine hours of competition.Barrus, 14, winner of the Deseret News Spelling Bee in Utah, finished 84th among the 238 champions from regional bees nationwide who competed in Washington.

The bee was eventually won by Ned G. Andrews, 13, of Knoxville, Tenn., who lasted 13 rounds and capped his win by spelling "antediluvian," the period before the Noah's ark flood.

Andrews - who was making his third appearance in the national bee - also handled such words as "dyskinesia" (involuntary motion), "proboscis" (snout) and "naiad" (nymph). Second-place winner Brian Kane Lee of Minot, N.D., was tripped up by "parvenuism," or rising above the station to which one is born.

Barrus said he started getting nervous before he actually heard his final word in the fifth round - even though he said the first four rounds were easy and he had quickly spelled all of his words without hesitation.

"The words started getting harder and harder, and people around me were falling right and left," he said. "I've never been so nervous in my life."

So what did he think when he finally heard his final word? " `I'm doomed,' " he said. "I was able to figure out the first part of the word, but wasn't sure about the second part - and I missed it."

He said the mistake obviously hurt, but he was still happy with his performance. "I gave it my best shot. There was nothing else I could do. And I at least knew half of the word I missed."

In earlier rounds, Barrus had successfully spelled "valetudinarian," "necromancy," "collaborative" and "emigrant."

In the first two rounds, the words came from lists made available to champions for study. But in the final rounds, judges went for the throat by pulling harder words out of the dictionary.

For his finish, Barrus won $75 and a commemorative watch. However, his trip to Washington was a prize he won at the Deseret News Spelling Bee. Andrews, the national champion, won $5,000 cash for the top prize.

The fifth round was not only troublesome for Barrus, but also was for his father, Michael Barrus Sr., who exited at the same time earlier this week in a special bee for three-member teams of parents of the champions.

His mother, Sandra Barrus, missed in the second round of the parents' bee.