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Local seventh grader to compete at Scripps National Spelling Bee

After winning the Central Texas Spelling Bee, the Wellborn Middle Schooler is on his way to the national competition in Washington, DC.
Posted at 9:50 AM, Mar 29, 2024

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Aarav Sargurunathan is a seventh grader at Wellborn Middle School in College Station, on his way to the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.

  • After winning second place in 2023, Sargurunathan won the Central Texas Spelling Bee, which qualified him for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Sargurunathan says he prepares about 1.5 hours a day. His strategy is studying root words and origin.
  • Sargurunathan wants to thank his parents, and his teachers, specifically Ms. Ruiz and Ms. Walthall.


“The favorite is probably this one. Because it’s the first ever trophy I won and this one actually has the bee and all the detail," seventh grader Aarav Sargurunathan said.

This is the trophy that started it all.

“So I've been doing spelling bees from third grade.”

As of this past weekend, Aarav Sargurunathan is the Scripps Howard Central Texas Spelling Bee champion.

“I was kind of freaking out about it. But I tried to calm myself down because if you get this wrong, it's like over," Sargurunathan said.

He knows that feeling well.

Last year, he was in the same position and he won second place.

“Another thing that really helps him, the Bee helps him, is to learn the successes, and also learn the setbacks and not be held back or disappointed because of setbacks. Right, you know, get that fighting spirit and keep pushing forward," his father said.

So this year, he had to buckle down.

“A lot of people think it's memorization, but it's root words like so you got the packet which helps you to study and I just searched up every single word. Try to find the root word and language of origin that would help me spell," Sargurunathan said.

Exactly how many words did he look up in the packet?

“For words of the champion, there's 4,000," Sargurunathan said.

“4,000 words?”

“Yes ma’am.”

It seems his newest trophy is well deserved. It may not be his favorite but it is his biggest, so far.