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Friendswood student advances to finals of Scripps National Spelling Bee

Thursday, May 30, 2013
 Shobha Dasari from Pearland and Sya-Mantok Payra from Friendswood are competing in this years National Spelling Bee.

Shobha Dasari from Pearland and Sya-Mantok Payra from Friendswood are competing in this year's National Spelling Bee.

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A handful of students have advanced to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, and one of two students from the Houston area is among them.

Twelve-year-old 6th grader Shobha Dasari from Pearland and 12-year-old 7th grader Sya-Mantok Payra from Friendswood were two of 42 semifinalist contestants who had the highest scores after onstage rounds, and a computer test that included a vocabulary section for the first time in bee history.

But during the semifinals Thursday afternoon, only one survived the tough competition. Payra advanced into the finals, while Dasari was eliminated in Round 6.

The winner will take home more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.

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