Anika Patel handled words such as "balalaika" and "luxuriate" with ease at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
The fifth-grader at Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove also knew the definition of words such as "chary" – it means hesitant.
"I actually knew the words pretty well," the 10-year-old said. "I didn't have a hard time spelling them."
She also wasn't nervous about being on stage and part of a television broadcast.
"It was fun," Anika said. "I liked meeting new people and making new friends."
Unfortunately, Anika did not make the cut of 50 spellers that will now advance to the semifinals. She didn't take the loss hard.
"I'm a first-timer," she said. "I will try harder to make it next year to the semifinals."
Her efforts pleased her parents, Vipul and Minal Patel.
"We were proud parents," said Vipul Patel, who watched the spelling bee. "We are very proud of her."
Anika Patel won the 2014 Kane County Regional Spelling Bee in March. Patel beat out seven other semifinalists to claim the top prize.
It was Patel’s first time in the regional bee. She had previously won her initial classroom spelling bees in third and fourth grade, but did not advance beyond that.
The Kane County Chronicle sponsored her trip to Scripps National Spelling Bee. More information about the spelling bee is at www.spellingbee.com.
To learn more about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, visit www.spellingbee.com.