Three Returning North Texas Entrants Prepping for Scripps National Spelling Bee

WASHINGTON — The Scripps National Spelling Bee is buzzing with Texans eyeing the prize, including three returning spellers from the Dallas area who finished in the top 10 last year.With a record almost 600 participants competing this year, 69 are from the Lone Star State. The competition takes place Tuesday through Thursday at the National Harbor in Maryland just outside of Washington.Naysa Modi, an eighth-grader from Reynolds Middle School in Prosper, is a spelling bee veteran as she competes for her fifth, and final time, at nationals. Under competition rules, a participant is allowed to compete through their eighth grade year.Naysa finished the 2017 competition in seventh place, her first time cracking the top 10. She said the spelling bee is different from sports where other factors can influence the outcome. The initial rounds of the spelling show just how much you know. “But at a certain point, it’s all luck,” she said about competing in the top 10.Naysa made it to the championship round against Karthik Nemmani last year, an eighth-grader from McKinney whom she beat at last year's regional competition.The word she received in the championship round was “bewusstseinslage,” meaning a state of consciousness or a feeling devoid of sensory components.Before spelling the word, she typed it on an imaginary keyboard. As she spelled her word, the ESPN broadcast split the screen to show Naysa, her family and Karthik in the background. As soon as she began spelling, Karthik shook his head in the background and immediately knew she got it wrong.Karthik had to win by spelling two words correctly. The winning word was “koinonia,” meaning Christian fellowship. He accepted the trophy and said he “got lucky,” a rare thing for a champion to admit.“It’s really crushing, but I’m thankful for support from my friends and family,” Naysa said. “I’m really glad they did not make fun of me or give me a hard time.”  Continue reading...

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