FORT WORTH -- As soon as the final word was announced, Narahari Bharadwaj knew he was going to win. All he had to do was get the letters out in the right order.
"I still have to say it right and I can't mess up," said Narahari, 13. "My legs were still trembling."
He correctly spelled enthalpy to earn the championship in Tuesday's Star-Telegram Regional Spelling Bee. He will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C., this summer.
In addition to that all-expenses-paid trip, Narahari won a trophy and oversized check for a $1,000 scholarship from TCU, $300 in cash, a dictionary and a bookstore gift certificate.
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"It was nerve-wracking," said Narahari, an eighth grader at Harmony Science Academy, a charter school in Euless.
Spelling bees are nothing new for the Plano teen, who says he studies spelling words about an hour each day. He qualified in 2009 and 2010 for the national finals of the North South Foundation Spelling Bee, open to children of Indian origin, said his father, Bharadwaj Heragu.Tuesday's contest at TCU's Brown-Lupton University Union included 25 North Texas students. Competition began at 448 schools in 16 counties, and those winners had to win one of 25 area-level bees to make it to regionals.
Round 12 had a string of casualties, with five of nine remaining competitors knocked out after misspelling choleric, reproducible, tacitly, bioassay and oleander.
Tacitly was a new word for Jordan Proffer, 11, a fifth-grader at Smithfield Elementary School in North Richland Hills. He guessed it might include acid with an -ly suffix. So he spelled it tacidly, but was met with a bell signaling his elimination.
In the next round, two spellers were eliminated before last year's regional winner, Mark De Los Santos, a student at Holy Rosary Catholic School in Arlington, correctly spelled selenic. Then Narahari got numismatist right.
When the pair squared off in the final round, Mark, 12, misspelled osoberry. Narahari correctly spelled dolorous and then nailed enthalpy to win the title.
Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326