After an incredible run, Simola Nayak's competitive journey through the English vocabulary has ended.
Nayak, a student at , had advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday after correctly spelling "habile" and "cryophilic" during yesterday's preliminary rounds.
But during Thursday's semifinals, held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center just outside of Washington, DC, in Maryland, Nayak tripped up on the word "rapparee," a word of Gaelic origin referring to Irish soldiers in the 17th century. Nayak misspelled the word as "raparee".
Earlier in the semifinal rounds, Nayak had correctly spelled "cassideous" and "cisle."
Unlike in yesterday's preliminary rounds, if you misspelled a word today, you were eliminated from competition to the chime of a bell.
Today's semifinal rounds were televised live on ESPN2. The final rounds were broadcast earlier today on ESPN.
Simola won the DeKalb County School District Spelling Bee in February and the
Georgia State Spelling Bee in March. She recently completed the eighth grade at Henderson Middle School.
Simola prepared for her competitions by studying words and vocabulary from
previous spelling bees and reading books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne
Collins and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. She also enlisted help from her family, who quizzed her daily on different words.