Carmel teen falls in Spelling Bee semifinals

Alekhya Ankaraju of Carmel is in the National Spelling Bee semifinals.
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Forty-six of the nation's best young spellers have taken the stage for the nerve-jangling semifinal rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Thirteen-year-old Alekhya Ankaraju, an eighth grader at Carmel Middle School, was the lone Indiana representative in the semifinals. However, she misspelled "miniaceous" - the color of minium or red lead - in the first round of the semifinals.

Fourteen Hoosiers started the spelling bee this week.

No more than 12 spellers will advance to the finals Thursday evening. They'll have to spell two words correctly in front of a national television audience and then hope their score on a computerized spelling and vocabulary test is high enough to make the cut.

The semifinalists include last year's third-place finisher, 14-year-old Sriram Hathwar of Corning, New York, and two other finalists from 2013: 12-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, and 13-year-old Syamantak Payra of Friendswood, Texas. Syamantak and 13-year-old Mary Horton of West Melbourne, Florida, tied for highest score on the computer test.

The semifinals are broadcast live on ESPN2.

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