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Austin student advances to Scripps National Spelling Bee finals

Tarini Nandakumar made it to the finals but was eliminated on a word meaning question.

AUSTIN, Texas — A student from the Austin area made it to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Both 12-year-old Tarini Nandakumar from Challenger School-Avery Ranch and 14-year old Shrethan Botla from Meridian World Middle School both made it to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday morning. But Nandakumar made it even further and competed in the finals on Thursday night.

Nandakumar has previously competed in the bee in 2021, where she tied for 16th place, and 2022, where she tied for 49th place. According to her bio, she has many hobbies, including reading, dancing, building with LEGOs and playing with her pets. Her favorite food is pizza, and her favorite sport is badminton.

Both Botla and Nandakumar were sponsored by Sweet Success ATX.

Nandakumar was ultimately knocked out of the finals on a word meaning question, trying to define the word "chthonic." Florida 14-year-old Dev Shah won the bee with the winning word "psammophile."

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