Seven Texas Spellers — Including Five From North Texas — Advance to National Spelling Bee Finals

WASHINGTON -- Seven Texans -- including five from North Texas -- advanced to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday, part of a group of 50 who will compete on Thursday.Forty-six Texans, and hundreds of other spellers, were still standing after the third round of spelling wrapped up. Judges quickly cut the list to 50 after calculating the scores of the spellers’ preliminary tests and onstage spelling. The highest score a speller could earn was a 36.Sohum Sukhatankar, a seventh-grader from the St. Mark’s School in Dallas, tied for 25th at last year’s competition. He has had an easier time on stage receiving the words “ambient” and “integrity.”Before the announcement, Sohum said he thought he did well enough to advance. There was not a perfect score this year but he finished in a three-way tie for first with a score of 35.In 2017, Sohum tied for 23rd. He said in order to advance further he has focused on improving his vocabulary and paying a little more attention to basic words.“I’ve noticed in the past few years I’ve been missing pretty basic words. I’ve gone over my basics so hopefully I can advance past the semi-finals and go to the finals,” Sohum said.Abhijay Kodali, a sixth-grader from McKamy Middle School in Flower Mound, also advanced to the finals on Thursday. He feels right at home this year after finishing third place last year. While you might see other spellers studying between breaks, Abhijay is not.“You get stressed studying during the competition,” Abhijay said, which is why he has enjoyed watching Cartoon Network, sports, Harry Potter movies or “whatever is on.”Hephzibah Sujoe, a seventh-grader from Bethesda Christian School in Fort Worth, is advancing to the finals in her second appearance at the bee. She said the moment was like a “dream come true” and will celebrate while still preparing for the finals on Thursday. “I’m going to study but also enjoy some time with my family,” Hepzibah said.  Continue reading...

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