Snigdha Nandipati, 14-year old from San Diego, is crowned as the new champion of the National Spelling Bee Champion. Her word she had to spell was “Guetapens” a French-derived word that means ambush, snare or trap.
I was once a spelling bee when I was in junior high school. My word was my name. It’s was a foreign name, with nine letters long. My teacher wanted me to spell my name, and I was the last one standing. I was good. I got every word right in the dictionary. However, please don’t ask me to spell, that was then and this now. My bonus word was my name. And I got it right. My prize back then – was a dictionary! My teacher ran out of words in the dictionary, so she decided to ask me to spell out my name. Not too many words were popular back in 1980’s.
Other highlights were:
Stuti Mishra ofWest Melbourne,Fla., finished second after misspelling “schwarmerei” – which means excessive, unbridled enthusiasm. While many spellers pretend to write words with their fingers, the 14-year-old Mishra had an unusual routine – she mimed typing them on a keyboard. Nandipanti and Mishra frequently high-fived each other after spelling words correctly during the marathon competition.
In third place was Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills,N.Y.At 12, the seventh-grader was the youngest of the nine finalists. He has one more year of eligibility remaining, and he pledged to return. He will return again next year to get a shot of the National Spelling Bee.
Also tied for fourth was Nicholas Rushlow of Pickerington,Ohio, and Lena Greenberg of Philadelphia. The excitable Greenberg, a crowd favorite who ran delightedly back to her chair after each correct word, pressed her hands to her face and exclaimed, “Oh! Oh!” when she was eliminated.
Rushlow was making his fifth and final appearance in the bee, and this was his best showing. He got three words. He didn’t know – one in the semifinals and two in the finals – and managed to spell two of them correctly before the third one, “vetiver,” tripped him up.