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Burris Laboratory student prepares for Scripps National Spelling Bee

The Bee is back this year after being canceled in 2020.
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Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 22:23:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — WRTV's parent company, Scripps, is once again hosting the National Spelling Bee after it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The first round of the competition is this Saturday, June 12. More than 200 spellers will compete, including seven students from Indiana.

Learning new words, definitions and competing against other students is something Alesya Rathinasamy has been doing since kindergarten.

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Alesya Rathinasamy has competed in school spelling bees, regional competitions and the Scripps Spelling Bee.

"I really enjoyed it just being up on the stage and being able to spell all the words and learn all of the new vocabulary. From there, every single year pretty much I've been doing the spelling bee," Alesya said.

The 8th grade Burris Laboratory student won first place this year in the regional division, beating out students from Muncie and surrounding areas. Now, she's preparing for the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the third time.

"It means a lot, it's been something to look forward to for a while now. Last year I could not just go because of the pandemic, I also had scoliosis surgery for my back on March 11. I couldn't make it to the regional bee last year. I was qualified for it, but I wasn't able to make it there so that was upsetting, but I've had something to look forward to all year, Alesya said.

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Alesya Rathinasamy at previous Scripps National Spelling Bee competition.

She is speller number 20 in the first round which will air on ESPN 3. Scripps is making changes to the competition this year due to the pandemic. The first three rounds will be held virtually.

Only 10 to 12 students will advance to the final round of the competition. It will be held on July 8 in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

"It's a tough competition with really tough words, but I'm going to try my best and try to represent this area well," Alesya said.

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