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Akula Eliminated in Scripps Spelling Bee

Sruti Akula at Scripps Spelling Bee

     NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (WENY) -- She made the Southern Tier proud by making it through four rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  Unfortunately, 14-year-old Sruti Akula of Horseheads was eliminated during Thursday’s semi-finals.  
     Sruti misspelled the word “gimbaled” during Round 5 of the competition.  It means “provided with or supported on contrivances that permit a body to recline freely in any direction, or suspend something so that it will remain level when its support is tipped.”
     Sruti says she won’t ever forget how to spell it now.  She also says she has no hard feelings.
     “No matter the result, I studied a lot, and I learned a lot of words that I wouldn’t have learned if it wasn’t for this spelling bee,” said Sruti.
     In Round 4, Sruti spelled “mephitis” correctly.  It means “a noxious, pestilential, or foul exhalation from the earth.”  
       Sruti’s mom, Vani Akula, told WENY-TV’s Ted Fioraliso it’s been a journey for the whole family. 
     “And I think I’m a much better speller now than I was a couple years ago when I started coaching her,” Vani explained.  “There’s nothing that you lose by spending a lot of time on spelling.”
     “I’m very proud of her.  And if there’s one thing I’d like to be, it’s her,” said Sruti’s brother, Abhishek.
     When asked what’s been the best part, Sruti said, “I think the whole spelling bee is fun, meeting new people, you learn a lot of words in the process, and just being in the spelling be is fun.”
     This was the last year Sruti was eligible to compete in the National Spelling Bee, but she says she’s going to continue to spell, and now she has more time to do things she likes like crafting.  
     Nine spellers will compete in the National Spelling Bee finals, which air live on ESPN Thursday night at 8:00.