Parker teen a stellar speller at national spelling bee

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PARKER, Colo. -- Parker teen Frank Cahill made it to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday. The 14-year-old is an eighth grader at Ave Maria Catholic School.

This was his first time making it to the national spelling bee.

In the semi-final round Thursday morning, Cahill correctly spelled ‘cannelon’ and ‘guilloche.’ Those two words advanced him to the finals, where he correctly spelled his first word, dedans.

FOX31 Denver spoke with Cahill just before the last round.

“It’s been an amazing experience for me,” he said. “I’ve had so much fun from the adrenaline of being on TV, being able to show off my spelling skills.”

It turns out spelling isn’t Frank’s only skill.

“I also participate in math competitions, I do theatre, I do lacrosse, I do basketball, I play violin in the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra, and I also play the piano,” Cahill said. “To prepare, I usually memorize lots and lots of words, I memorize language patterns and root words and work with my coach on how to stay calm when you don’t know a word and how to figure it out.”

His parents were in the audience the whole time cheering him on. They said it might actually be more stressful for them!

“I’ve got to tell you, it’s tough on the parents because it’s totally out of your control,” said Mike Cahill.

On his second word in the finals, Frank would be overcome by a tadpole. He incorrectly spelled the word ‘porwigle,’ by adding an extra ‘g.

Although he didn’t bring home the trophy, Frank isn’t letting it get him down.

“Whether or not I bring it home, it’s a great accomplishment for the school and the city,” he said.

This was Frank’s final year of eligibility for the national spelling bee. The eventual winner was Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of California.