Goodyear teen among 50 semifinalists in Scripps National Spelling Bee

WASHINGTON - A Goodyear teen is among just 50 spellers who have advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee!

Thirteen-year-old Sumaita Mulk was one of two Arizona teens who made it to the competition in Washington. Aarish Raza, also 13, was eliminated Wednesday following round three of the contest.

Mulk correctly spelled "regale" during round two and "zapateado" during round three to help earn her a spot in the semifinals.

The field was narrowed down from 278 to 50 following Tuesday's 50-word computer test and the Wednesday rounds, during which spellers tackled two words each.

Raza also spelled both of his words correctly, but his combined scores between all three rounds were not enough to score him a spot as a semifinalist.

Vanya Shivashankar, a 10-year-old fifth-grader from Olanthe, Kansas, was the only competitor to earn a perfect score in the preliminary rounds.

Shivashankar's older sister, Kavya, won the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Lake Ridge, Va., the youngest speller in bee history, did not make the semifinals. Spelling Bee director Paige Kimball said "it was close."

The computer test was much tougher than last year's, when spellers who got more than two words wrong did not make the semifinals. This year, spellers could miss eight words and still advance.

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