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Spotlight on Tampa Bay: Three Students Compete in National Spelling Bee



Three Tampa Bay students compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee

TAMPA, Fla. -Three children from the Tampa Bay area made the quarterfinals in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week.

The students were sponsored by the Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund in St. Petersburg.

Amara Chepuri, 11 The youngest Tampa Bay speller is a 5th grader at Lakewood Ranch Preparatory Academy in Manatee County. As a first-timer, she said she chose to compete in her school spelling bee for fun and ended up making it all the way to Scripps.

She was eliminated in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday. Her word was “ephectic,” which she said has its origins in Greek.

“It’s my first time and I’m very lucky to have even made it to Scripps and get to quarterfinals,” Amara said in an interview. “If you lose, that just means you will get better … You can still win next time. Even if you lose, you shouldn’t be discouraged.”

Amara plays tennis and piano and loves music. According to Amara’s biography on the competition’s website, she’s a Swiftie and has been composing her own songs since she was seven years old.

Jordin Oremosu, 14 Jordin was eliminated in the quarterfinals and finished in a tie for 60th place. Her word was “galliphagous.”

Jordin loves to draw and mainly creates digital art, often taking several hours to complete a piece. An avid reader, she says her favorite book is “Wizardmatch” by Lauren Magaziner, and her favorite author is Jennifer Lynn Barnes. She’s an 8th grader at Lutz Preparatory School in Hillsborough County.

Bruhat Soma, 12 Bruhat is no stranger to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He tied for 74th place in last year’s Bee and tied for 163rd in 2022. His interests include reading, sports – he loves basketball and also plays badminton and ping pong – and playing music in his school band.

Bruhat is a 7th grader at Turner/Bartels K-8 School in Hillsborough County. He’s the only Tampa Bay area speller still in the competition.

How to watch the spelling bee

The two-night event kicks off with the semifinals on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The kids who make the final round will compete live for the title of spelling bee champion on Thursday at 8 p.m. Reported by WFLA
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