OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — One of the most accomplished spellers in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee is offering a master class in composure at the microphone.
Shruthika Padhy, 13, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, repeats her word several times, giving the judges ample opportunity to correct her if her pronunciation is off. She asks questions, but only the ones that elicit useful information. And she mimes writing the word on her hand, both as she listens to the judges and then, letter by letter, as she spells.
Her word in Wednesday's preliminary round was "orthodontic." She knew it immediately, but she stuck to her routine.
The results speak for themselves. Shruthika has finished in the top 10 each of the past two years and is one of this year's favorites.