Texas students miss final round of spelling bee

May 30, 2018 GMT

WASHINGTON - Six Texas spelling bee contestants spelled their words correctly on day two of the national competition, but none of the spellers will advance to the final round Thursday because their scores on the written exam were not high enough to make the final 41.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee announced the finalists Wednesday evening, eliminating more than 200 of the remaining contestants in the second half of the preliminary round. The annual competition brings young spelling whizzes from around the United States to compete.

The finalists were determined by a combined written and oral spelling score. Just 41 contestants were called back for the final round. Texas contestants from Sugar Land, Kate, Pearland, Dickinson, Beaumont, San Antonio and Spring competed in Wednesday’s preliminary round after a successful round of spelling Tuesday.

Benjamin Chen, an 11-year-old from Sallie Curtis Elementary School in Beaumont, spelled “adolescence” correctly Wednesday afternoon, but did not qualify for the finals. He said he will continue studying to prepare for next year’s spelling bee.


“I’m not as excited as I used to be,” Chen said after hearing that he would not advance.

Pranav Chemudupaty, a 14-year-old from Pearland, had a successful day at the bee, but did not qualify for the final round. Neha Rao, a 13-year-old from Katy, Mishal Ali, a 12-year-old from Spring, Cohen Dunham, a 12-year-old from Dickinson and Rohan Arulkumar, a 12-year-old from Sugar Land, were also eliminated from the competition after correctly spelling their words.

Harini Logan, a 10-year-old from San Antonio incorrectly spelled “nocebo,” meaning a harmless substance given to a patient associated with negative side effects. Logan instead spelled the word n-o-c-i-b-o. But she said she’ll still watch the bee Thursday because she can learn new words to spell in the future.

“It’s going to be really cool experience,” she said about the final round. “It’s going to be fun and I’m really excited.”

The bee is aired on ESPN until Thursday evening.