CINCINNATI -- A homophone mix-up and a preliminary test knocked two of Tri-State's best spellers out of competition Wednesday in the 90th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Tanvi Rakesh, a fourth-grader at Longbranch Elementary in Florence, Kentucky, was eliminated from the national competition after she misspelled the word "appellation" giving the spelling "Appalachian."
The two words are pronounced identically, but "appellation" is a noun meaning "a name or title," whereas "Appalachian" is an adjective used to describe things coming from or related to the U.S. region of Appalachia.
Rakesh won the Region I Kentucky-Indiana Spelling Bee in March, taking the 2017 title with the word "tiara." In 2016, she was the runner-up.
Although she didn't claim the appellation of "winner" this year, 10-year-old Rakesh has four more years of eligibility for the bee.
Sheridan Hennessey, a fifth-grader at Hyde Park School, made it past round three of the preliminaries but fell short on the preliminary test.
A score of at least 29 was needed on the test to advance to the finals.
Hennessey won the 2017 Region II Ohio Spelling Bee with the word "inviolable," an adjective that describes something that can never be broken or violated.
At only 11 years old, Hennessey still has three more years of eligibility before she reaches the bee's inviolable cutoff.