Rohin Prashanth, a two-time county spelling bee champion in the elementary division, won the San Joaquin County Junior High Spelling Bee on Wednesday.
The Wicklund School seventh grader’s winning word was “verdigris” — a poisonous greenish pigment derived from copper.
Seventh through ninth grade spellers competing in the junior division of the spelling bee sit at rows of tables to write their words, and judges circulate and check their spelling after each one.
The runner-up was Saachi Arora, an eighth grader at Brookside School in Stockton.
Rohin and Saachi will both compete in the California State Junior High Spelling Bee Championship on May 2 in San Rafael.
Rohin was a finalist in the California State Elementary Spelling Bee this spring, making it to the top seven in a field of 55 competitors.
Several local students made it through Monday’s semifinals and competed in the oral spelling bee for fourth through sixth grades on Wednesday.
The bee came down to the word “synagogue,” and the champion was Ishaan Ajay, a sixth grader at Brookside School in Stockton, who came in second in 2018. Prakrit Bharadwaj, a sixth grader at River Islands Technology Academy, was the runner-up.
They will represent the county in the statewide spelling bee in May at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton.
The group of 15 finalists included three students from Tracy Unified School District and three students from Lammersville Unified School District:
• Saanvi Banerjee, Bethany School, fifth grade
• Armando Martin, Williams Middle School, sixth grade
• Arshaan Nijjer, South/West Park Elementary School, fifth grade
• Mark Ethan Ramos, Kelly School, sixth grade
• Ananya Reddy, Hansen School, sixth grade
• Sidharth Sanegepalli, Altamont School, sixth grade
The other finalists were Tennessee McGraw from Banta School District’s STEAM Academy; Atreyu Thong from Lincoln Unified School District; Gabrielle Ascano from Linden Unified School District; Maligaya Gille, Jeremiah Robertson and Arjun Virk from Lodi Unified School District; and Harleen Kaur from Ripon Unified School District.