The National Spelling Bee is down to the semifinals, and Missouri has a couple of contestants among the 50 contestants still alive.
Gokul Venkatachalam, 11, of Chesterfield has out spelled 228 other young people in the competition.
He’s one of the youngest competitors — just finished the fifth grade. He says he studies the dictionary three times a day. Venkatachalam most recently correctly spelled “frore,” a word that relates to something being covered with frost.
Also in the semifinals is 14-year-old Jordan Gabriella Hoffman of Lee’s Summit.
This is Hoffman’s third time to reach this level of competition. Her word in the last round – which she nailed – was “toxophilite,” a lover of archery.
This is Hoffman’s last year of eligibility.