National Spelling Bee uses 'octochamps' in a sentence, crowning eight co-champions

National Spelling Bee uses 'octochamps' in a sentence, crowning eight co-champions
Pandemonium erupted eight times in the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee when Thursday night became Friday. In a surprising conclusion to the competition, the organizers of the event took the unprecedented step of naming eight fellow champions after they all endured 20 rounds of increasingly difficult words.

"Jacques Bailly, the bee's official forecaster, said at the end of round 17, calling the eight winners" the most phenomenal set of sorcerers in the history of this famous competition. "

"We're launching the dictionary," said Bailly. "And so far, you're showing this dictionary who the boss is."

In the end, a historical number of winners did that.

With "pendeloque" and "auslaut", "aiguillette" and "bougainvillea", "palama", "cernuous", "odylic" and "erysipelas", the competitors marched one by one towards the circle of winners.

With each correct answer in round 20 and final, the roar rose from the audience. When the last of the eight surviving finalists, Rohan Raja, wrote his word correctly to make sure there were eight winners, the ballroom shook and the confetti fell on the stage.

The 94-year competition has become increasingly competitive, as participants train with coaches and some parents pay to avoid the traditional path to qualify for the annual contest, which takes place at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor.

The Bee started on Tuesday with its biggest field in history, and fellow champions beat another 557 contestants aged 7 to 14 at the Thursday night finals. The result was the first time that more than two co-champions were named, with winners from different states.

They are: Rishik Gandhasri, 13, from California; Erin Howard, 14, of Alabama; Saketh Sundar, 13, of Maryland; Shruthika Padhy, 13, of New Jersey; Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Texas; Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Texas; Christopher Serrao, 13, from New Jersey and Raja, 13, from Texas.

The proud but exhausted champions took a victory lap at the Friday morning shows.

"Howard told the" Hoy "program on Friday morning, even though he committed 25", I thought the bell was going to sound at some point, because, honestly, the odds are against you when you do this competition "hours at the week to study vocabulary. " Somehow, the bell did not ring, and I got to the championship round. "

The "Today" host, Craig Melvin, asked the winners if they would have preferred to do more rounds to further improve the course.

"We all wanted to win together," Serrao said. "We were competing together."

Also, I said, "we were all asleep."

The innovative finals culminated a day of intense competition that began at 10 a.m. with the field of 50 spells destined to be reduced to approximately a dozen finalists at 2 p.m. As a sign of what was to come, the participants proved to be more resilient than ever.

By 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the organizers of the bee resorted to what Shalini Shankar, a professor at Northwestern University, called around "mower" of extremely harsh words aimed at improving the remaining field. It worked, with the spellcasters eliminated by words that turned their heads like "Wundtian", "coelogyne" and "yertchuk". However, other sorcerers beat people like "huiscoyol", "bremsstrahlung" and "ferraiolone" to advance to the final.

Sundar, who was already a four-year veteran of the bee, reached the final after what he said was a financial tax the first half of the day.

"I was very tired and I did not drink a lot of water," said Clarksville, MD, a high school student. "As it goes so fast, if you go to the bathroom, you could lose your turn."

The great drama of the day reflected the most stressful moments of the competition, a point highlighted by a video on the ESPN big screen that juxtaposes Colette Giezentanner successfully making her way through the word "choledoch" with the game of four rebounds of Kawhi Leonard against the Sixers In the NBA playoffs. When the judge pronounced "correct", the audience erupted in applause.

Much has changed since Bailly won the Bee in 1980. The winning words of that past era: "croissant" in 1970, "incisive" in 1975, "luge" in 1984, would make today's finalists laugh.

Ansun Sujoe, a 2014 runner-up whose sister Hephzibah made it to the finals this year, said that only five years later, I barely recognize the event.

"What happened at this stage was two rounds, and lasted less than two hours," he said. "This lasted five hours, it tells you how smart these children are." My sister knew many