According to 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Chesterfield's fifth-grader Gokul Venkatachalam spelled the following words correctly on Wednesday, and another 25 words via computer on Tuesday, in order to become a semifinalist in Thursday final rounds:
Preliminary Round these are 25 words Venkatachalam spelled on a computer quiz:
Round 2 performed on stage
Round 3 performed on stage
A combination of points from all three rounds determined his win to qualify as a semifinalist for Thursday's competition.
Aiming for finalist status early Friday, Venkatachalam misspelled "kahikatea" without the "h" after spelling two other words perfectly.
Only about one-fourth of the 278 spellers made it into the finalist level with Venkatachalam. He was one of 14 remaining when he missed "kahikatea".
The final spelling round is broadcast live on ESPN sports TV, 7-9 p.m., Thursday.