Scripps National Spelling Bee | KERA News

Scripps National Spelling Bee

Scripps National Spelling Bee / Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Seventeen spellers, including first grader Akash Vukoti, represented the state; golfer Jordan Spieth and Bill Murray paired up for a round; no one’s sure how an alligator got feet from a Dallas middle school; and more.

Scripps National Spelling Bee / Facebook

For the first time in 52 years, two spellers were declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday -- and one of them is from North Texas.

ScrippsBee / Flickr

It took ten rounds to stump Plano eighth grader Chetan Reddy. He had no trouble in the first few rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee championship final, but in Round 10, the word kaburi (a type of land crab) tripped him up. He exited the stage to a standing ovation.

Chetan finished the Bee tied for seventh place. Arvind Mahankali from New York won the title with the word knaidel.

ScrippsBee / Flickr

The answer for most of us? Probably not. There are 42 competitors still standing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. One of them is Plano eighth grader Chetan Reddy.

This year, spellers have to be masters of phonetics, but for the first time ever they have to know what words mean too. So here’s your chance to see how you stack up against the semifinalists based on the vocabulary questions they tackled Wednesday.

Vijay Reddy

Chetan Reddy is the grizzled veteran of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which starts today in Washington, D.C. Only this grizzled veteran is just an 8th grader.

Chetan, who lives in Plano, is making his fourth straight appearance in the national contest -- and it’ll be his last one, because next year he’ll be too old. So he's determined to retire with trophy in hand.

ScrippsBee / Flickr

Three students from North Texas are competing in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. And while all of them are very devoted to studying and drilling words, these kids have diverse interests and big dreams.

We've queried the three -- Ansun Sujoe of Keller, Chetan Reddy of Plano and Kerri Lu of Wichita Falls -- on their hopes for the future and Bee superstitions below. You can also hear them rattle off some pretty impressive words.

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