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River Islands Tech 6th grader qualifies for state spelling bee

Prakrit Bharadwaj is going to the state Spelling Bee in May.

The sixth-grade student from River Island Technology Academy earned that ticket by finishing runner-up at Wednesday's Elementary Division in the San Joaquin County Spelling Bee Championship.

He's the son of Sujalita and Palash Bharadwaj of Lathrop.

Ajay Ishaan of Brookside Elementary School took first place by correctly spelling 'synagogue.'

Bharadwaj, who resides in Lathrop, missed on 'penicillin,' much to his mother's dismay.

"He knows that word. He's in the Science Olympiad," said Sujalita Bharadwaj.

No doubt, Prakrit would like to have that one back. However, he was thrilled at correctly guessing the spelling of 'fricassee.'

Bharadwaj and Ishaan, who is also a sixth grader, emerged from the semi-final round consisting of 15 or the original field of 42.

Hlarleen Kaur, who is a sixth-grade student at Park View Elementary School (Ripon Unified), was also among that group.

Among the other words used during this 16-round spell-off were 'cinephile,' 'ingenue,' 'xerophyte,' 'recalciterant,' and 'intransigent,' to name a few.

The California State Elementary Spelling Bee Championship is scheduled for May 9 at the SJCOE.

In the Junior High Division (seventh- through ninth- grade), Rohin Prashanth was once again champion.

The Wicklund Elementary School (Lammersville Elementary School District) seventh grader took first place two years ago in the Elementary Division.

Prashanth's winning word was 'verdigris.'

Saachi Arora, who is an eight-grade student from Brookside Elementary School (Lincoln Unified), took second place.

Among the local students participating were Glysel Finones (eighth grade, Lathrop Elementary), Marianna Gumas (eighth grade, Sequoia Elementary), Christina Nguyen (eighth grade, Joshua Cowell), and Gabriel Pardini (seventh grade, Neil Hafley) from Manteca Unified; Gavin Olds (eighth grader, Colony Oak), Jack Schooland (eighth grade, Ripon Elementary), Jacob Thomas (seventh grade, Ripon Elementary) and April Yan (ninth grade, Ripon High) from Ripon Unified; Charlie Giulan (seventh grade, Ripon Christian); Bilen Yosef (eighth grade, St. Anthony’s); and Medha Boddugari (eighth grade, River Island Technology Academy).

Next up for Prashanth and Arora will be the California State Junior High Spelling Bee on May 2 at Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael.