The New Orleans Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and NOLA.com/Times-Picayune sponsored the local competition of the 30th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA. The students were vying for a spot at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 29-31.
When the field was pared down to the two finalist, Thomas Gross III, a 6th grader at LaPlace Elementary and Vaisha Kumbala from Metairie Academy, they hung in for 25 more grueling rounds and went back and forth, tackling words, such as “Cossack” and “kaon”.
In the end, Gross correctly spelled “tritium” to reign supreme in the 40th round over a sprawling crowd of 189. Kumbala stumbled on the word “embarcadero.”
The third place finisher was Alexander Drewitz.
Congratulations to the winner and all participants.