A Union County eighth-grader earned a trip to Thursday nights finals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee, while three contestants from the Triangle bowed out before the semifinals.
Prakash Mishra, 13, North Carolinas only representative to advance to the final, lost in the 10th round by misspelling "susurrus."
Prakash, of Waxhaw, won The Charlotte Observer Regional Spelling Bee in February for the second year in a row to advance to the national contest. He said he stepped up his training after his run in last years National Spelling Bee ended in the third round, working on his spelling for at least an hour each day.
This time, I prepared much more intensely, he said.
Wearing a shirt with a splash of yellow his lucky color Prakash looked poised as he rattled off b-a-i-z-e, a word meaning a coarse woolen or cotton fabric, to reach the final rounds.
He has written several novels and enjoys reading, especially works by Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and T.S. Eliot. Prakash speaks five languages, including Hindi, French, German, Spanish and English.
All 275 spellers took a 25-word written spelling test and were individually given two words to spell out loud Wednesday to determine who would go on to the semifinals.
None of the three Triangle contestants were among the 41 semifinalists who competed Thursday.
Catherine Wagner of St. Michael School in Cary correctly spelled iterative and punctilio.
Jesus Ayala Lara of Chewning Middle School in Durham correctly spelled quagmiry and splenetic.
Graham Lowder of Southside Christian School in Clayton correctly spelled cenote and troglodytic.
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