Two San Bernardino County students headed to Scripps National Spelling Bee championship

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ETIWANDA, Calif. (KABC) — We celebrate two local students who will represent San Bernardino County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May! The co-champions earned a spot in the competition after correctly spelling the words “rarefaction” and “recrudescent.”

Eighth-grader Srikanth Satheesh Kumar from Heritage Intermediate School explained his process in figuring out the spelling words he’s assigned.

“You know, it’s just what everyone else thinks it is. Just to slow it down, you know, sound it out, and then just put whatever letters you think fit,” said Kumar.

Co-champ Shrey Parikh is a sixth-grader at Day Creek Intermediate School.

“I like to see how words are made and understand their meaning,” said Parikh. “I always liked English. So basically, in fourth grade, there was an opportunity to join the school spelling bee. It was so competitive and fun that I decided, why not do it again?”

Kumar has fond memories of his first spelling bee back in the sixth grade.

“Winning! That’s all I remember,” laughed Kumar. “But like, it was an experience, you know that if I could win that, then I could have a chance to go on to Nashville. And that’s really what kept me going.”

The co-champs are looking ahead to the national championship.

“You get a trophy that looks really nice, and you get $50,000. I don’t really know what I would do if I got $50,000,” said Parikh. “It’s in Washington, D.C. and it’s on Memorial Day weekend leading up to it. I’m just going to try to calm myself down and study as much as I can.”

“Just going in there, doing my best you know, I always want to win,” said Kumar. “Do my best to compete and do my best all the time. But I practice, you know, put the work in.”

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