Simola's Remarkable Run Comes To An End

After making it to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Henderson Middle School graduate Simola Nayak tripped up on the word "rapparee" Thursday.

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.

bb June 01, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Did you intentionally misspell "Scripps" in first sentence?
Jonathan Cribbs June 01, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I did. It was an error made intentionally in solidarity with Ms. Nayak's "rapparee" stumble. ... Kidding. You caught a typo. Certainly not my first. Thanks for the catch.
Sagamore 7 June 02, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Simola, We are extremely proud of you and your accomplishments from your hard work! I think it should also be known that when Simola won $1,000 from winning the Georgia Spelling Bee, she DONATED the entire amount to a classmate stricken by a disease! This type of support and kindness is the type of student I want to see come from DeKalb! I think we should start "Spelling Bee" teams/clubs and tournaments within the DeKalb County School System. Jim McMahan


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