Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Not everything is about winning, says graceful Sara-Beth after Scripps spelldown

Published:Friday | May 29, 2015 | 6:21 PMStaff Reporter
McPherson: I am just happy that it is over and I can now relax.

Jamaica's Sara-Beth McPherson, the 39th place contestant in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship, says she is disappointed that she did not advance to last night's final, but she is happy with her performance.

"Not everything is about winning," McPherson told The Gleaner today, 24 hours after she was eliminated in the semi-final round.

Of the 285 entrants, the Holy Childhood School student was among 46 competitors to advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

"I am just happy that it is over and I can now relax," McPherson said.

The young spelling bee star still had a hint of excitement in her voice as she related her experience.

"The competition was exciting...I have made a lot of friends. Some of them autographed my beekeeper book and we will be staying in touch," she said.

McPherson also said she approached the situation with a great deal of maturity.

"Things will not always go how you expect them but you have to believe that new doors will open in failure or even in success, no matter how things go people will always be standing by you and you always have support,

As she gets ready to return to Jamaica on Saturday, McPherson says she plans to focus on her studies and get back into her extracurricular activities.    

Her father, Peter McPherson, is also basking in her performance saying it has been rewarding for the family.

"It has been a long journey, from the time that she has been doing spelling to now and as any parent you would have wanted to see her go further, I still give thanks because for Jamaica to move up in a US competition is commendable," he said

McPherson went on to indicate that the experience has been a fulfilling one for his entire family.

"I appreciate her dedication to the task and for the persons who trained her and went through the full rigors, we take a lot of things from the experience in terms of the discipline of the whole exercise and I am convinced that it is something that any child can go into and achieve," he added.

For his part, coach Hanif Brown says it was a thrilling encounter.

"I am proud of her because it was God’s will and she did her best. She has worked extremely hard and I wish her all the best for the future,” he said. 

Brown became McPherson's coach when the late Reverend Glen Archer fell ill last year.