Colorado girl remains in Scripps National Spelling Bee after two rounds

Pasta was the perpetrator of a 10-year-old Boulder student’s undoing in the first round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tuesday, but Denver’s 12-year-old speller remained in the running after two rounds.

Sofia Tommey Wu, a fifth-grader at Douglass Elementary School, met her match when she misspelled “pappardelle,” the broad, ribbon-like pasta, in the first round Tuesday morning.

Aditi Muthukumar, the seventh-grader from Northglenn’s Hulstrom Options K-8, correctly spelled “hsaing-waing,” a Burmese traditional orchestra, in the first round.

Muthukumar also aced the second round, the vocabulary round, by knowing the definition of “accomplice.”

Both Sofia and Aditi are newcomers to the national spelling competition. Sofia takes after her mom, Rita Wu, who went to the Scripps National Bee in 1998. Aditi defeated Aurora speller Vikram Raju in the 2023 Denver Post-sponsored state spelling bee. Vikram came in second at the Scripps National Spelling Bee last year.

More than a dozen of the 231 spellers at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland ,were eliminated as of 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Round three begins later Tuesday afternoon.

Quarterfinals take place Wednesday morning, semifinals are Wednesday afternoon and the competition’s finals kick off Thursday evening.

The grand prize winner of the spelling competition receives $50,000 cash and the illustrious Scripps Cup trophy.

To watch the competition, viewers can check out streams on ION Plus, Bounce XL and

The finals will air live in prime time on ION and Bounce from 6 to 8 p.m. MT on Thursday.

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