National Spelling Bee gets down to final 4

A word for a type of beach grass stopped an Edmond eighth-grader's run in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night.

The 12-year-old Fresno, California, girl, who attends Fugman Elementary School in Clovis Unified School District, first competed in the National Spelling Bee in 2016, qualifying out of the Fresno County Spell-Off that's sponsored by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools office in partnership with The Fresno Bee.

Muthusamy was eliminated in Round 12 when he spelled the word "saussurite" incorrectly. After three straight years of ties, the bee added a tiebreaker test this year, and it looked like it might come into play as Ananya and Rohan dueled for almost 20 rounds. 14-year-old Shourav Dasari had his clutch moment during the championship finals on Thursday.

"I just focused on my word and tried to spell it right", she said.

Ananya and Rohan Rajeev, an eighth-grader from Edmond, Oklahoma, went head to head for nearly 20 championship rounds spelling their words so assuredly. Roughly 73 of the spellers have been on that stage before giving them a tremendous edge over the competition.

The 40 finalists competed today for the $40,000 cash prize. The bee added a written tiebreaker test this year, but it didn't come into play. If there is a tie at the end of the bee, the speller with the better score on the written test will be named the champ.

Saketh Sundar, 11, of Elkridge, Md., jumps up in the air after spelling his word correctly during the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Ananya Vinay couldn't watch the Warriors start the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers, but she had her own victory to celebrate.

The precocious home-schooled student from Oklahoma correctly figured out "tapas" and "nyctinasty", but she failed to make the competition's finals. "I'm so happy right now".

He was knocked out of the competition during the second set of preliminaries. Take our quiz and find out.

  • Larry Hoffman