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Sabre Springs seventh-grader eliminated in National Spelling Bee fourth round

Mihir Konkapaka is shown in this undated photo.
San Diego County Office of Education
Mihir Konkapaka is shown in this undated photo.

A seventh-grader from Sabre Springs was eliminated in the fourth round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Wednesday.

Mihir S. Konkapaka misspelled chessel, a cheese vat, spelling it chestle.

Mihir was the 10th speller in the round and the sixth to misspell his or her word.


The original field consisted of 231 spellers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, the Bahamas, Germany and Ghana. There were 59 spellers eliminated in the first round, 33 in the second and 19 in the third, reducing the field to 121 for the fourth round.

The quarterfinals are scheduled to continue until 9:45 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, followed by the semifinals from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The 10 to 12 finalists will be known around 3:30 p.m. PDT.

The finals are Thursday.

Mihir advanced to the quarterfinals by correctly spelling vastation, a noun meaning obsolete, in Tuesday's third round at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. He had set reaching the quarterfinals as his goal because it would been an improvement from last year when he was eliminated in the third round.

In the first round, the Mesa Verde Middle School student correctly spelled vexillologist, a noun meaning a person who studies flags, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


Mihir then correctly answered his second-round multiple-choice word meaning question, "Jingoism is:" selecting "loud or arrogant nationalism."

The 12-year-old qualified for the national bee by repeating as winner of The San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee, correctly spelling exsufflation, a noun meaning "forcible breathing or blowing out (as in clearing the respiratory tract)," as the final word.

The bee is limited to students in eighth grade or below, giving Mihir one more opportunity to compete.

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