Bethesda Eighth Grader Tied for 12th Place in National Spelling Bee

Ananya Gautam, 14, was two correct spells away from making it to the finals in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A student at Herbert Hoover Middle School in Potomac, Gautam made it to the semifinal round. She aced her first two words and successfully chose the correct definition for abiogenesis before misspelling dissentience. Out of the 209 students who made it to the national competition, after successfully competing in their own schools and county spelling bees, Gautam tied for 12th place Sunday night.

Eleven spellers made it to the finals, which will be televised on July 8.

In 2019, Gautam came in 51st place. Since she will be a high schooler next fall, she no longer is able to compete in future Scripps National Spelling Bees.

She is studies calculus on her own and takes a community college course in Python programming. The Bethesda resident admires another Bethesda resident, calling swimmer Katie Ledecky her favorite athlete. Like Ledecky, Gautam swims competitively. Her favorite actress is Viola Davis.

The competition was conducted virtually.


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