Folsom Middle School eighth-grader Snehaa Ganesh Kumar advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals again Wednesday as she seeks to build on her fourth-place finish last year.
Snehaa, 13, became the first Sacramento-area student to reach the prime-time televised finals in the National Spelling Bee’s recent history in 2015. Her fourth-place tie was the highest finish by a local student since Rageshree Ramachandran won the 1988 competition.
Snehaa spelled “posada” and “fascinator” correctly in the preliminary rounds and scored more than 27 out of 30 on the written vocabulary round Tuesday. She’ll join 44 other semifinalists competing Thursday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
“Whenever I come here, I get up at 5 a.m. and study, so I’m not wasting any time,” Snehaa said of her time at the competition. “I just study until the last minute.”
Thursday’s morning finals round will appear on ESPN2. The event will conclude Thursday evening on ESPN.
Snehaa is sponsored by The Sacramento Bee.