Pa. girl aces 'cymotrichous' to win Spelling Bee

By Joseph White

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, June 2 2011 9:50 p.m. MDT

Sukanya Roy, 14, of South Abington Township, Pa., is presented the trophy after winning the National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md. on Thursday, June 2, 2011. She won by spelling the word cymotrichous, which means wavy hair.

Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press

OXON HILL, Md. — It went on and on and on. Five spellers who seemingly had memorized the entire dictionary simply could not be stumped with any word tossed their way. It was getting late, way past bedtime and well beyond the time slot allotted by ESPN.

Finally, after 21 consecutive spellings without a miss, one of them finally flubbed a word. Eventually, the others were gone — having heard the telltale bell of elimination — except for 14-year-old eighth grader Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pa., who took home the trophy and the more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.

Sukanya's winning word was cymotrichous, which relates to wavy hair. She likes hiking, rock climbing and ice skating and wants to pursue a career in international relations. She is the fourth consecutive Indian-American to win the bee and the ninth in the last 13 years, a run that began when Nupur Lala captured the crown in 1999 and was later featured in the documentary "Spellbound."

A three-time competitor at the bee, Sukanya tied for 12th in 2009 and 20th in 2010.

"I went through the dictionary once or twice," she said, "and I guess some of the words really stuck."

Laura Newcombe,12, of Toronto finished second. She was trying to be the first Canadian to win the bee, but she went out on the word "sorites."

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