The girls from San Antonio get together for the spelling title

OXON HILL, Maryland – Harini Logan continued to try to learn from her near-flaws in online spelling bees. Recognized for years as one of the best English language writers, she had never won a national title.

In the biggest bee of all, he suffered a new set of setbacks, but somehow, in the end, he was still there.

Harini was eliminated, then reinstated, during the much-debated multiple-choice vocabulary round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She wrote badly four times, as Scripps’ most defiant words turned out to be too much for her and Vikram Raju, who also made four mistakes in the final stretch. And then he finally defeated Vikram in Bee’s first tiebreaker on Thursday night.

He calls his spelling version of “The Revenant.”

“Harini was in hell and came back with his spelling experiences,” said his coach, Grace Walters.

The 14-year-old eighth-grader from San Antonio, Texas, who competed in the last full-face bee three years ago and endured the pandemic to recover, correctly spelled 21 words over the 90-second period. beating Vikram by six. The winning word, according to Scripps, was “Moorish hen,” meaning the red capercaillie female, because that was what made her look like Vikram.

For the past two months, Harini, always prepared, had been practicing the possibility of lightning, a format that he found uncomfortable.

“When he showed up last year, he was a little terrified, to be honest,” Harini said. “I’m going slow. That’s mine. I didn’t know how I was going to get on that stage.”

Harini, the public favorite for her balance and positivity, wins over $ 50,000 in cash and prizes. She is the first Scripps champion to be reinstated during the competition. And that was before his four late stumbles.

“I think it would have been very easy for me to dissuade myself, to give myself a kind of‘ Wow, why am I losing so much? ’” Harini said. “Really just concentrating on the next word and knowing I’m still there, I think it was a great relief for me.”

She is the fifth Scripps champion to be coached by Walters, a former spelling, Texan and Rice University student who is considering leaving the coaching business. Harini also received help from Navneeth Murali, who presented her with one of those runners-up at the 2020 SpellPundit online bee, a consolation prize for the Scripps bee that was canceled due to the pandemic.

It was Walters and Navneeth who went to the bee judges, along with Harini’s mother, Priya, as soon as Harini left the stage in the vocabulary round, apparently her most overwhelming disappointment of all.

“My heart stopped for a second,” Harini said.

Harini defined the word “swarming” as the nesting of mating birds. Scripps said the correct answer was the swarm of bees. His supporters argued before the judges that he had been right. Minutes later, Chief Justice Mary Brooks announced the reversal.

“We did a little research after you finished, which is our job, to make sure we made the right decision,” Brooks said. “We delve a little deeper into that word, and in fact, the answer you gave to that word is considered correct, so we’re going to reinstate you.”

From there, Harini reached the finals against Vikram. Each one spelled two words correctly. Then Scripps pulled out the harshest words of the night.

Both misspelled. Then Vikram failed again and Harini hit the “sereh”, putting it to a title word. The word was “drimys” and she was wrong.

Two more rounds, two more misspelled words each, and Scripps pulled out the podium and the bell for the lightning round that all finalists had practiced in the mostly empty ballroom hours before.

Harini was faster and clearer at all times, and the final result of the judges confirmed his victory.

“I knew I just had to spell the spelling that came to my mind, and I just had to be a little faster,” said Vikram, a 12-year-old seventh grader from Aurora, Colorado. who hopes to return next year.

Vihaan Sibal, a 13-year-old from McGregor, Texas, finished third and also has another year of eligibility. Saharsh Vuppala, a 13-year-old boy from Bellevue, Washington, was fourth.

The last full-face version of the Bee had no tie and ended with a tie at eight. The Bee returned last year in a mostly virtual format, with only 11 finalists gathered in Florida as Difficult Vanguard became the first African American champion.

Harini is Indian-American, resuming a trend that has been maintained for two decades: 21 of the last 23 champions have inherited South Asia.

Another change for the bee this year: Scripps ended up with its longtime partner ESPN and produced its own broadcast for its ION and Bounce channels, with actor and literacy advocate LeVar Burton as presenter. The transition was bumpy at times, with long, uneven commercial breaks that broke the action and audio failures that exposed the internal workings of the show to the crowd in person.

The bee itself was thinner, with less than half of the participants it had in 2019 due to the drop in sponsors and the elimination of a wildcard program. And the addition of live vocabulary questions during the semifinals and finals resulted in surprising eliminations.

Harini leaning in with a vocabulary word was briefly the biggest shock of all.

“In the end, it was all worth it,” Walters said. “Every second place. Every ding. Every tear. All that. This is the end Harini deserves.”

The girls from San Antonio get together for the spelling title

Source link The girls from San Antonio get together for the spelling title

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