San Diego

Carmel Valley Student Wins Countywide Spelling Bee


That’s the word that a Pacific Trail Middle School student spelled correctly on Thursday to win the San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee.

After four hours of competition and after 93 students tested their spelling skills, eighth grader Yash Hande of Carmel Valley was crowned the champion.

Hande will go on to represent San Diego County in May at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland.

In the end of Thursday’s Bee, it all came down to Hande and Luigi Gono, an eighth grader at Granger Junior High School.

Hande missed a word in the fifth round, but it was even after Gono fell short on the championship word.

The next round, Hande correctly spelled “blucher” and then won it all by correctly spelling the championship word, which means affected by or characterized by gangrene.

Historically, San Diego County has strong spellers. In 2012, Francis Parker School student Snigdha Nandipati won the National Spelling Bee. Three years later, Poway student Anurag Kashyap took home the top prize.

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