Friendswood student advances to finals of Scripps National Spelling Bee

HOUSTON

Twelve-year-old 6th grader Shobha Dasari from Pearland and 12-year-old 7th grader Sya-Mantok Payra from Friendswood were two of 42 semifinalist contestants who had the highest scores after onstage rounds, and a computer test that included a vocabulary section for the first time in bee history.

But during the semifinals Thursday afternoon, only one survived the tough competition. Payra advanced into the finals, while Dasari was eliminated in Round 6.

The winner will take home more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.

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