Hilliard student advances to final day of National Spelling Bee

Credit: Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee
Credit: Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee

OXON HILL, MD (WCMH/AP) – An 8th grade student from Hilliard could face some of the most difficult words ever used in the competition as the Scripps National Spelling Bee enters its final day.

Lipika Narisetti is an 8th grader at Hilliard Heritage Middle School. Organizers announced Wednesday that Narisetti is among those who made it through the preliminary rounds.

To make it there, she had some tough words to spell. First up was tempeh, which is a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. The second word was nonvolatile, which means not likely to change in a very sudden or extreme way. Tap here to see all her results.

Credit: Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee
Credit: Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee

Narisetti finished 22nd in the 2015 spelling bee and was one of three local students in the 2016 competition.

In addition to her love for spelling, she’s also plays violin and is on her school’s track team. She says he dream job is to one day become a neurosurgeon.

Bee organizers decided to make changes after the competition ended in a tie the past two years. This year, the final three spellers could be forced to spell more, and judges can adjust the difficulty of the winning words as needed.

Also, the bee got rid of a second written test that was used to help pare the field down to 10 finalists. That means Thursday’s morning rounds will be as difficult as necessary to eliminate 35 spellers.

Three spellers who finished in last year’s top 10 remain in the bee. The winner gets more than $45,000 in cash and prizes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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