Seminole County student ties for fifth place in Scripps National Spelling Bee

A Seminole County student tied for fifth in the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee this week despite not having misspelled a word.

Ekansh Rastogi, who is an eighth grade student at Markham Woods Middle School, was a finalist along with a dozen other students in the final rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

In total, Rastogi made it through eight rounds of the competition and was eliminated along with a few other students just before the final two duked it out. In the end, Harini Logan successfully spelled 22 words correctly during a spell-off to defeat second place Vikram Raju, who spelled 15 words correctly during the spell-off.

During his eight rounds, Rastogi spelled six words and correctly defined two others. In round 9, Rastogi was eliminated after incorrectly defining remoulade as a decorative strip of wood used for ornamentation.

A remoulade is an egg-based sauce with savory herbs.

Rastogi’s qualifying word for the bee was “chiffchaff,” and during local competition, he correctly spelled multiple words including onychorrhexis, lanolated, Ryeland, sarcophagus, and ve.

Rastogi is no stranger to the national competition. In 2019, he finished tied for 51st.

Rastogi is an aspiring cricket player who plays in adult leagues in Central Florida as well as in tournaments throughout the country. He enjoys cooking, playing tennis, coding and 3-D designing when he is not spelling. Rastogi also competed in Science Olympiad at the national level, according to his speller profile.

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