The field continues to narrow in the national spelling bee. Today’s quarterfinals round began with 148 word wizards, including four Missouri students.

Aanya Shetty of Columbia, Garrett Fry of Lee’s Summit, Kunal Patel of Branson, and Sonia Kulkarni of St. Louis competed in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

By the end of the quarterfinals round, 45 students remained. Fry and Kulkarni were the two Missouri students left competing.

Fry’s stint in the bee came to an end in the semifinals, after he misspelled the word “rickettsemia.”

Kulkarni impressed the crowd by nailing the spelling of a difficult word -“mesembryanthemum.”

She was the last Missouri student eliminated in the competition. Her time in the bee ended after she chose the incorrect meaning of the word “gainsay.”

Both Kulkarni and Fry were given departing words of encouragement from bee panelists.

The 96th annual bee concludes on Thursday night.

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