Shruthika Padhy, speller 278, misspelled quintain, a post with a crosspiece having at one end a broad board and at the other end a sandbag used especially in the middle ages in a sport the object of which was to strike the board with a lance while riding under and to get past without being hit by the sandbag.
The New Jersey sixth grader was pretty excited to meet ESPN personalities. She’s a big sports fan, and swims, plays basketball and badminton and enjoys other sports. She wants to go into sports medicine.
“I just wanted to do better,” she said of her 22nd-place finish last year. “I’m just trying to do my best right now.”
Shruthika plays seven instruments and wears a lucky hairband - and Kyrie Irving sneakers. She said other aspiring spellers should look for words in the newspaper. She likes the sports section, personally.
And how does she feel about the dictionary?
"It would be a lot easier if some of the words in there aren't in there," she said.