More than 20 Indian American students from throughout the country have reached the final day of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The Indian American spelling whizzes came from 291 spellers who advanced to the national event which began whittling down May 31, culminating with the final 40 spellers June 1.
At least 75 of the nearly 300 spellers were of Indian or South Asian origin (see India-West article here). Roughly 11 million spellers began the competition.
The spelling bee, which has been won by an Indian American each year dating back to 2008, including co-winners in the past three years, features a plethora of Indian Americans vying for the spelling title.
This year’s possibility of co-winners is far less likely as the competition will use a test to break ties. Spellers will sit for a written tiebreaker test before they begin spelling words in the primetime finale, with results revealed only if two or three spellers get through the entire final round (see India-West article here).
Among the Indian Americans and South Asian American students hoping to be crowned the next national spelling bee champion include fourth grader Ashrita Gandhari of Massachusetts; fifth grader Sohum Sukhatankar of Allen, Texas; and sixth graders Samhita Kumar of Gold River, Calif.; Saketh Sundar of Elkridge Md.; Naysa Modi of Monroe, La.; Ananya Vinay of Fresno, Calif.; Shruthika Padhy of Cherry Hill, N.J.; and Aisha Randhawa of Corona, Calif.
Among the seventh graders are Tara Singh of Louisville, Ky.; Jashun Paluru of West Lafayette, Ind.; and Srikar Chamarthi of Odessa, Texas.
And eighth graders, who account for the most finalists, include Rohan Sachdev of Cary, N.C.; Varad Mulay of Novi, Mich.; Mira Dedhia of Western Springs, Ill.; Shrinidhi Gopal of San Ramon, Calif.; Tejas Muthusamy of Glen Allen, Va.; Nikhil Lahiri of Painted Post, N.Y.; Sreeniketh Vogoti of Saint Johns, Fla.; Rutvik Gandhasri of San Jose, Calif.; Raksheet Kota of Katy, Texas; Siyona Mishra of Orlando, Fla.; Rohan Rajeev of Edmond, Okla.; Shourav Dasari of Spring, Texas; Alex Iyer of San Antonio, Texas; and Akshra Paimagam of Charlotte, N.C.
The June 1 final competition will have several hours of rounds early in the day and will have the champion crowned during a two-hour primetime showing of the bee on ESPN from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. ET.