Comp down to the let­ter

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - -Alison Bald­ing

THE win­ning word might have been clair­voy­ant but no psy­chic pow­ers were needed as Sri Vaish­navi Kol­luri con­fi­dently claimed the ju­nior cham­pi­onship ti­tle at the Premier’s Spell­ing Bee.

Her vic­tory un­for­tu­nately meant Mt Druitt’s Aneesh Chakravarthula was elim­i­nated, but not be­fore making it all the way to the sev­enth round on Wed­nes­day.

“It felt pretty good to get that far,” Aneesh said.

He cred­ited his mum and dad’s sup­port and ed­u­ca­tional web­sites for help­ing him.

Ten-year-old Sri, from North Sydney Pub­lic School, nar­rowly beat Carl­ton South Pub­lic School’s Jes­sica Ashe, who stum­bled on the word “cryptic” in the 12th round.

Sri said she felt the nerves kick in while stand­ing in front of ev­ery­one.

“It feels really good to win. I was very ner­vous,” Sri said.

Premier Mike Baird and NSW Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Adrian Pic­coli were on hand to present awards to all 42 stu­dents from across the state who made it into the state fi­nals.

“I don’t think any par­ent watch­ing would be able to spell half the words, es­pe­cially those in the fi­nal round – I know I couldn’t,” Mr Baird said. “I think they all did us proud.”

Pic­tures: STEPHEN COOPER

Run­ner-up Jes­sica Ashe and win­ner Sri Vaish­navi share a quiet mo­ment and (inset) Aneesh Chakravarthula on stage.

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