Sukanya Roy, a 14-year-old from Scranton, Pennsylvania, won the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night, correctly spelling “periscii” and “cymotrichous” to win the title.
Roy, an eighth-grader at Abington Heights Middle School, said she knew as soon as she heard “cymotrichous” that she’d get the word right and win the championship.
“My heart started pounding, I guess,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. … It’s just amazing. It’s hard to put into words.”
It was Roy’s third trip to the national spelling bee, and she had credited her past experience with keeping her calm and relaxed heading into the finals.
Roy is the fourth consecutive Indian-American to win the Bee, and the ninth Indian-American in the last 13 years.
The National Spelling Bee featured 275 spellers advancing to Washington, D.C. for a competition that started with a written test on Tuesday. Spellers who did well enough on the written test advanced to the two oral rounds on Wednesday, followed by the semifinals Thursday morning and finals Thursday night, carried live on ESPN.