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Speller from Johnson City advances in national bee but misses out on semifinals

May 29th, 2013 4:14 pm by Staff Report

Speller from Johnson City advances in national bee but misses out on semifinals

Rahul S. Krishnaswamy, 14, of Johnson City, competes in the preliminary rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Habor, Md., on Wednesday. Photo by Bill Clark.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Johnson City's champion speller Rahul Krishnaswamy made it through the round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but did not make the list of the 50 semifinalists.

The Ashley Academy eighth-grader spelled “kielbasa”and "clairaudient” today to remain in the 86th national competition, which opened on Tuesday just outside of Washington.

Rahul, 14, was one of 281 spellers from across the United States and several foreign countries competing in the bee. He won the Knoxville News Sentinel Southern Appalachia Regional Spelling Bee in March, and this is his second trip to the national bee. His winning word was “emanant,” a word he didn’t have any trouble spelling.

He competed in his first spelling bee as a third-grader and has been competing ever since.

The field of spellers at the National Bee will be narrowed to 50, based upon their scores on a written spelling and vocabulary test and their performance in two oral rounds of competition.

The winner will take home $30,000 in cash, a trophy and other prizes. The finals will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. Current competition is airing live on ESPN3.

The Knoxville News Sentinel contributed to this article.

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