Local spellers forge ahead in national Bee

Two Fort Wayne-area students advanced from the preliminary round of the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 7:27 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WPTA) - Two Allen County students are moving on in the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Ishan Ramrakhiani, 14, and Achyut Ethiraj, 12, both navigated Tuesday’s preliminary round by spelling two words correctly and by matching the right definition to a third word.

The event returned to a more traditional look this year, as the spellers took turns center stage to answer the challenge that came one word after another. But changes in the format made the early round a lot tougher than in years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Escaping Day 1 was no given. More than half the spellers who competed by midafternoon Tuesday were eliminated.

Ishan, who just completed 8th grade at Canterbury School, advanced by successfully spelling “Bezier curve” and “ineradicable,” and be choosing the correct definition of the word “affable.”

Ishan, a Bee veteran, said he was actually more nervous competing against his classmates just to qualify than stepping on stage in the national competition. He finished in a tie for 16th place nationally last year.

“So I started studying the list yesterday or the day before. So then I could like, know the vocab really well,” he said. “Since I’ve done it in past years, it was more of a review. And then I started on vocab because that’s what I’m most weak on. And then I went over to spelling and spelling was pretty easy.”

Ishan Ramrakhiani successfully completed the preliminary round of the National Spelling Bee.
Ishan Ramrakhiani successfully completed the preliminary round of the National Spelling Bee.(WPTA)

Achyut completed 6th grade at Maple Creek Middle School and moves on after he correctly spelled “tmesis” and “wiliwili,” while selecting the meaning of the word “cavalcade.”

“I knew all the words, but (I) could have been a little bit nervous,” Achyut said afterward. “I’m going to celebrate and study for the next one.”

Achyut Ethiraj advances out of the preliminary round of the National Spelling Bee.
Achyut Ethiraj advances out of the preliminary round of the National Spelling Bee.(WPTA)

The event continues on Wednesday. Stay with ABC21 for updates.

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