NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- An extra r knocked Narahari Bharadwaj, an eighth-grader at a Euless charter school, off the stage Thursday in the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Narahari put a double r in the middle of ceratorhine (two-horned rhinoceroses having well-developed lower canine teeth).
Earlier Thursday, on his first trip to the microphone, he correctly put a double r in graphorrhea (writing of long lists of meaningless words). But later, Narahari was one of 28 semifinalists who left the stage in disappointment during a marathon session that required seven rounds and more than four hours to complete.
Narahari, 13, lives in Plano and attends Harmony Science Academy in Euless. He won the Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by the Star-Telegram in March and received an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, a $1,000 scholarship from TCU and other prizes.
The 13 spellers left standing returned Thursday night for the finals. After three hours, 14-year-old Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pa., won the title with cymotrichous (wavy hair). Sukanya gets more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.
Twelve-year-old Laura Newcombe of Toronto finished second.
Sukanya is the fourth consecutive Indian-American to win the bee and the ninth in the last 13 years.
One of the finalists was Joanna Ye, 14, of Carlisle, Pa. "There were, like, one or two words I'm glad I didn't get, but the ones that I got were fairly easy," she said with a straight face about her words brachygraphy, pinetum, rocaille and hypotrichosis.
The youngest finalist was 10-year-old Dhivya Murugan of Denver, who was one of several Indian-Americans to advance. The run of Indian-American winners began when Nupur Lala captured the crown in 1999 and was later featured in the documentary Spellbound.
Other finalists were Dakota Jones, 14, of Las Vegas; Nabeel Rahman, 13, of Buffalo, N.Y.; Sriram Jagadeesh Hathwar, 11, of Painted Post, N.Y.; Arvind Mahankali, 11, of New York City; Prakash Mishra, 13, of Charlotte, N.C.; Mashad Nair Arora, 14, of Brownsville; Samuel Estep, 13, of Berryville, Va.; Veronica Penny, 13, of Rockland, Ontario; and Lily Jordan, 14, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
This report includes material by Jarondakie Patrick of McClatchy Newspapers, The Associated Press and Star-Telegram archives.