Thirteen-year-old Kavya Shivashankar of Kansas (pictured from 2008) won the 82nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, which aired on prime-time TV for the fourth straight year. Kavya locked down her first place finish when she correctly spelled…wait, Kansas? We’re sure that she’s from Kansas? I mean, I thought “Shivashankar” had Rust Belt written all over it. Kavya’s technique of drawing out etymological clues from the judges and “writing” the word on her hand drew jeers from the KSK Live Blog, who joked that Kavya should not be allowed to collect her $40,000 in cash and prizes until she successfully spells her own name. From The Journal:
Ms. Shivashankar was making her fourth appearance at the bee, having finished 10th, eighth and fourth over the last three years. She enjoys playing the violin, bicycling, swimming and learning Indian classical dance, and her role model is Nupur Lala, the 1999 champion featured in the documentary “Spellbound.”
Second place went to 12-year-old Tim Ruiter of Centreville, Va., the only non-teenager in the finals. He misspelled “maecenas,” which means a cultural benefactor.
In grown-up stuff, the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled within one game in their series with Orlando with a 112-102 win last night in Ohio. The Magic were down by 22 at one point, but LeBron’s 17 points in the 4th led the way for a not-so-dramatic finish. Game 6 will be Saturday in Orlando.
Oh, and Cubs P Carlos Zambrano was suspended 6 games for his tantrum on the field against Pittsburgh Wednesday, which is only like one game for a starting pitcher. No word on whether he and the juice machine in the clubhouse have reconciled.