Local speller places 3rd at national bee

WASHINGTON – Thirteen-year-old Gokul Venkatachalam placed third Wednesday night at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Gokul, a seventh grader at Parkway West Middle School, was knocked out after incorrectly spelling the word 'Kierkegaardian.'

This was Gokuls third year in a row on national television in what some describe as the Super Bowl of spelling bees.

His friends were excited to watch him, and were on the edge of their seats as he spelled out each word, letter after letter.

"One day you see him in class the next day you see him on ESPN, so it's kind of cool," said friend Will Patton.

Siram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe tied for the championship. This is the first time co-champions have been crowned since 1962.


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