Best friend of Snigdha Nandipati tells NBC San Diego how inspired she is by her middle school pal
San Diego has another Scripps National Spelling Bee winner, and she’s only the second local champ since 1925.
Snigdha Nandipati correctly spelled "guetapens," meaning an ambush or trap.
As soon as she spelled the word correctly, Snigdha’s younger brother ran on stage to hug her.
With that nine-letter word, the Rancho Penasquitos teen won the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday evening.
Snigdha finished 27th last year, but this year she spelled her way to the very top.
The 8th grader goes to Francis Parker Middle School.
“Oh my God. I can't believe that. To say that we live across the road from the girl that won the Spelling Bee is amazing. It's an absolutely fantastic opportunity for her,” Snigdha's neighbor Saedia Irshad told NBC 7 San Diego.
Neighbors say the 8th grader is a fantastic role model for other children.
Francis Parker Middle School posted the news on their website right after their star lifted her trophy.
San Diego is no stranger to great spellers. Anurag Kashyap from Poway won the spelling be in 2005 and is the only other Southern California spelling bee champion since the competition began in 1925.
With the victory, Snigdha wins $30,000 from the Scripps Foundation, a $5,000 scholarship from the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation and several other prizes.
“To be recognized for something so good. It's a great example for other children as well, to know that you can get something if you work hard at it. Put your mind to it and you'll get there,” Irshad said.
Snigdha will be on the East Coast, traveling between Washington, D.C. and New York City, before she returns to San Diego next week.