Central Texas spelling whiz finishes 3rd in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 11:59 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Midway ISD student Vihaan Sibal, 13, finished third in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday evening.

Sibal, who qualified for the finals for the second year in a row, was disqualified after misspelling the word Mercator.

Nonetheless, third place in the most prestigious spelling bee competition is a big accomplishment. Congratulations, Vihaan!

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

For the second year in a row, a Central Texas student will be competing in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Vihaan Sibal, 13, an incoming eight grader in the Midway ISD, punched his ticket to the finals Wednesday after spelling Lipofuscin correctly.

It’s the fourth time the spelling whiz has qualified for the prestigious finals.

“It feels really good to have earned a spot in the finals because all the hard work I put in over the past year has finally paid off,” Sibal told KWTX from Washington, D.C.

“And, as always, I’m really proud to represent Midway and Central Texas and everybody back home that’s supporting me.”

Vihaan has spent the week competing against the best spellers in the world in National Harbor, Maryland.

Vihaan has once again qualified for the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. His family...
Vihaan has once again qualified for the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. His family traveled with him to the D.C. area for the big moment.(Courtesy Photos)

He started the competition week in a group of 229 spellers for the preliminary round Tuesday.

From there, Vihaan advanced to the quarter finals with 88 contestants and then on to the semifinals with 48 others.

Wednesday afternoon, Vihaan successfully spelled lipofuscin to move on to the finals for the second consecutive year.

Other words Vihaan successfully spelled or identified as vocabulary over the last week include urushiol, rhapsody, puncheon, spicigerous, phenylephrine, and vermillion.

April McAdams was Vihaan’s third grade teacher at South Bosque Elementary whom he credits for much of his spelling success.

In a note he sent McAdams thanking her for her support Vihaan wrote “Every child needs an April McAdams.”

McAdams dedication to Vihaan and other students was recognized this past week when she was awarded the Scripps National Spelling Bee Teacher of the Year.

“As Vihaan’s former third grade teacher I could not be prouder of him for qualifying for the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition being held in Washington, D.C. this week,” McAdams said.

“Vihaan is such a natural speller but he also puts in so many hours of work every day and he has an amazing support system from his family. We can’t wait for him to represent Central Texas tonight. We know he will do an amazing job.”

Vihaan will compete with the other 11 finalists at 7pm Central on ION.

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