Spelling Bee Winners

Two Texas teens are headed to National Spelling Bee after big Houston win

Two Texas teens are headed to National Spelling Bee after big win

Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, Connie Hill, Lisa Shumate,Nihar Janga,Shourav Dasari, Ernie Manouse, Capella Tucker
Nihar Janga and Shourav Dasari, both holding trophies, celebrate with Connie Hill, Lisa Schumate, Ernie Manouse and Capella Tucker. Photo by Craig Hartley

Two Texas teens are headed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., after being declared co-champions at the 2016 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee held Saturday.

Shourav Dasari, a Spring resident and seventh grader at McCullough Jr. High in Conroe ISD, and Nihar Janga, an Austin resident and fifth grader at River Ridge Elementary in Leander ISD, bested the competition in the 14-round event that included 53 total spellers from 42 Texas counties.

Dasari correctly spelled “Guaguanche” (a Caribbean-area barracuda) while Janga got “snotziekte” (a cattle disease) right in the contest, which spanned four hours and was broadcast live on Houston Public Media TV 8 and streamed online.

Dasari tied for third place in the 2014 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, the nation's second largest local spelling bee, and Janga came in third place in 2015.

They will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, May 22-27 — known as "Bee Week" — in the nation's capital. The 89th national bee offers prizes worth more than $30,000 and will be broadcast live on ESPN.