Aisha is out

Aisha Randhawa, speller 88, is the first one out. Her word was "cuirassier," a mounted soldier wearing a breastplate and backplate, often of leather; specifically : a soldier of a certain type of heavy cavalry in the French and other European armies.


The California eighth grader is in her last Bee. She tied for seventh place last year, 35th place in 2017 and 22nd place last year.

Aisha spelled words like epicedium, kahilthelytokous, chylocaulous, lesche and jabiru.

"It's just been a wonderful journey," she said. "I just loved every minute."


Aisha said she gained lots of knowledge as she studied words. She felt pretty composed this time at the Bee.

"I already know how to handle my nerves properly," she said. 

Before Dr. Bailly gives the word, she said, she smiles. It's a way to calm her -- and she's happy to be here.


Aisha also likes to play golf, piano and alto sax. She said the fact that she's done with her spelling career hasn't sunk in.

"I'll read a lot more," she said.