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Folsom Middle School Student Places High in National Spelling Bee

05/29/2015 06:45AM ● By Steven Jack

Folsom Middle School student Snehaa Ganesh Kumar completes in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday. (Photo by Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee)

She may not have won the Scripps National Spelling Bee ini Washington, D.C. Thursday, but Snehaa Ganesh Kumar of Folsom Middle School came pretty darn close. 

Snehaa finished in a tie for fourth place after incorrectly spelling the word "oflag," which in case you didn't know is "a German prisoner-of-war camp for officers in World War II." Snehaa spelled the word "auflahg," knocking her out in the competition's ninth round. 

“It was really good for the first time here and to get fourth is really great,” Snehaa told the Sacramento Bee. 

Snehaa made it to the national finals after winning the Central Valley Bee by correctly spelling the word "opificer." She had been working to make the national competition since the third grade. 

Snehaa was the only California student to make it to the competition's final round of 10 spellers.
In addition to two rounds of scored spelling and vocabulary tests, Snehaa's road to the finals included the following six words spelled correctly:
  • picaresque
  • pirarucu
  • camarilla
  • gibus
  • bouillabaisse
  • Hippocrene
The bee was eventually won after 20 rounds in a tie for first by Gokul Venkatachalam, of Missouri, and Vanya Shivashankar of Kansas. Snehaa was highest placing Sacramento-area student since 1988's competition which was won by  Rageshree Ramachandran, the Bee reported. 

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