HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico County fifth grader was the youngest finalist in the Scripps National Spelling Bee that took place Thursday night at National Harbor.
Eleven-year-old Tejas Muthusamy was one of the top 281 spellers from eight countries competing in the bee.
The Rivers Edge Elementary Student was one of only 12 students still standing in the competition after competing in the semifinals.
That's where Muthusamy correctly spelled “commorients,” meaning a number of persons
dying at the same time by the same calamity. When he correctly spelled “exsiccosis,” meaning
dehydration or insufficient intake of fluids, network announcers said, “so far he’s been the
surprise of this tournament.”
After winning the Henrico County Public School championship in February, Muthusamy won the 40th Annual Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee in May to advance to the national bee.
Tejas stumbled over a word with German origin that he had never heard before: hallenkirche.