The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 1:00 am

Local speller makes semifinals of national bee

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

Ishan Ramrakhiani is moving on to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The 13-year-old seventh-grader at Canterbury School made it through Tuesday's quarterfinals by correctly spelling “ranula” and “enfilade” and defining “reprove” – to reprimand or censure.

More than 200 spellers competed in this year's bee, which began with Saturday's preliminary rounds.

Ramrakhiani – The Journal Gazette's and northeast Indiana's representative – now finds himself among the remaining 30 students advancing to the June 27 semifinals.

He is the only speller remaining from Indiana in the semifinals.

“It was good, but I can hopefully go farther in the semifinals,” he said Tuesday night.

This year, spellers are competing virtually in the preliminary rounds, quarterfinals and semifinals. Ten to 12 spellers will advance to the in-person rounds July 8 at Walt Disney Resort near Orlando, Florida. The national spelling bee was canceled last year because of COVID-19.

“He has worked hard,” said Ramrakhiani's father, Sunil. “It has taught him some life lessons.”

Ishan plans to study every day until the semifinals but will also mix in swimming and video games.

“I just hope that I can make it past a few of the rounds,” he said.

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