Axon Hill, Maryland – The 2022 Scripps National Spelling B race ended in a way that the previous 93 races have not.
The last two contenders, Vikram Raju and Harini Logan, failed to spell two consecutive words correctly between rounds 13 and 18. At that point, the judges chose to start the first spell – 90 seconds to spell as many words as possible correctly. Most spelled correctly He will win the bee.
Logan, an eighth-grader from Texas, spelled 22 words correctly, compared to 15 ragu, to become the 2022 champion. Officially, this year’s winning word was “Moorhen” — a medium-sized bird known as a “female red grouse.”
“It’s a very surreal dream,” said Logan, who competed in her fourth national competition.
Logan, 14, almost didn’t come forward after Thursday’s tour meaning word. She had heard the tragic bell after her response to “withdrawal” was rejected.
“I was like, ‘Wow, I’m out,'” Logan said. That’s it “.
However, during the break, the judges decided that your answer could be correct, as it could mean “breeding” or “swarm.”
Jury chairwoman Mary Brooks explained the verdict, and Logan, who had learned just minutes before her fortunes had changed, returned to her seat on the stage.
“There were just a few minutes in between that it was hectic,” said the Montessori School student in San Antonio.
Logan rolled through the rest of the spell until she came to a dead end with Raju, casting the spell.
It was like a “Fast Money” tour by Family Feud who met the spelling bee. Typical questions that the contestants might ask the speaker—part of speech, etymology, and definition—were not allowed. Each word had to be attempted – no skips or passes – and the checker had to press the bell before the next word appeared.
“We activated the spell because it was the best opportunity to show how prepared these spellers were,” said Bee CEO Dr. J. Michael Dornell. “Obviously they have shown their profound ability to compete.”
While Raju went first, Logan was isolated in a backstage room with noise-canceling headphones playing classical music in her ears so she couldn’t hear his answers.
Logan said of the spell, “At first I was a little uncomfortable and just decided to take it step by step. We knew it was going to be part of the competition, if it came to it.”
Logan received a $50,000 cash prize and a Scripps Cup on top of awards from Merriam-Webster and Encyclopedia Britannica.
“She’s great. She’s great. She’s on standby,” said Grace Walters, a former speller and one of Logan’s coaches. “I’ve watched her face many challenges on her journey as she tackles each one and comes forward with a smile full of vitality.”
Thursday’s first round of finals — burdened with scientific and plant-related jargon like “Pachytylus” — eliminated five of the 13 finalists.
To discourage strict memorization of words and emphasize a holistic approach to language, Bee last year began incorporating multiple-choice “word meaning” tours. Competitors are not required to spell; Instead, they are given a word with three definitions and they must choose the correct one.
Thursday’s Single Meaning Tour proved to be a real test, as it was for all 229 spellers who traveled to Maryland for the finals. Half of the remaining field bent down.
One of those four was Kristen Santos, a sixth grader from Arizona who wore a jean jacket and bedazzled headband and was the second youngest contestant to qualify for the 2022 final.
“Okay,” Santos answered calmly into the microphone.
The exercise nearly cost Logan a shot in the cup. Instead, she advanced to the 10th round along with Raju (second place, $30,000 prize), Vihan Sibal (third place, $15,000 prize) and 13-year-old Saharsh Vupala, who left one ‘l’ at the end. Phenocol”. ”
“I know there are words with ‘coll’ at the end, and I was just arguing about whether I should put the second ‘l’,” he told host LeVar Burton backstage afterwards.
One letter – in one word or from among multiple choice options – makes all the difference in Spelling Bee.
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