WASHINGTON, D.C. Tia Natasha-Elizabeth Thomas of the Oakhurst Ward, Fresno California West Stake, finished in a tie for 8th place as the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship concluded May 31. The home-schooled seventh grader made it through seven rounds spelling such words as "bewusstseinslage," "syssarcosis," "impercipient" and "periostracum." She stumbled on "zacate."
Tia, 12, won the Central California region competition to advance to the national championship for the fourth consecutive year. Only two other spellers currently have streaks as long, with another one on a five-year streak.