Last Arizona contestant falls in 6th round of Scripps National Spelling Bee

May 31, 2023, 12:15 PM

A sign over the stage of the 2023 Scripps Natioanal Spelling Bee in suburban Washington, D.C....

(Facebook Photo/Scripps National Spelling Bee)

(Facebook Photo/Scripps National Spelling Bee)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s last remaining contestant in the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee was eliminated in the sixth round Wednesday.

Opal Mishra, a 12-year-old sixth grader at Basha Accelerated Middle School in Chandler, tripped over “feuillage” on the second day of the competition in suburban Washington, D.C. She incorrectly spelled the word as “foliage.”

The 95th Scripps National Spelling Bee includes rounds with spelling and rounds with word meaning.

Mishra cleared her first two hurdles Wednesday, spelling “pointillistic” in the fourth round and properly defining “incandescent,” which means “strikingly bright, radiant or clear,” in the fifth round.

She, the youngest of Arizona’s three qualifiers, was one of 56 entrants to make it through five rounds. The contest at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Fort Washington, Maryland, started with 231 spellers.

Karen Opoku-Appoh, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Marana Middle School, made it through Tuesday’s preliminary rounds but went out in the fourth round Wednesday when she misspelled “ordonnance” as “ordinance.”

Tazbah Spruhan, a 13-year-old eighth grader from Tséhootsooí Middle School in Window Rock, misspelled “Groenendael” (a dog breed) as “Grunendoll” in the first round Tuesday.

Wednesday’s semifinals and Thursday’s finals will be televised on the Ion network, with the coverage starting at 5 p.m. Arizona time each night. Ion broadcasts over the air and is available on many cable, satellite and streaming TV services.

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Last Arizona contestant falls in 6th round of Scripps National Spelling Bee