Shruthika Padhy
11-year-old Shruthika Padhy advanced to the final rounds of Thursday’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, she will attempt to become the first student from New Jersey to ever win the tournament.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Shruthika Padhy, a sixth grader from Cherry Hill, N.J., outlasted more than 200 of her fellow competitors to punch her ticket to the final rounds of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee, which begins Thursday.

The 11-year-old who is a student at Rosa International Middle School, is making her second straight appearance in the bee finals. She correctly spelled defibrillator, a machine that delivers an electric shock to keep the heart beating, in the second round to remain in the competition.

She is New Jersey’s sole representation in the bee’s final rounds.

Of the state’s nine contestants, six spelled words in Wednesday’s competition correctly. However, students were not only selected for their oral spelling abilities on Wednesday, but also from the earlier written spelling and vocabulary tests they took as part of the competition. Overall, 188 of the 291 spellers got both words right, though just 40 made the finals.

All of this means Padhy has a chance to do what no other New Jersey student has been successful in attempting in 90 years: win.

Those who tuned into last year’s competition and fell in love with the babyfaced Akash Vukoti will be disappointed to not see his face on this year’s stage — Wednesday, Vukoti was ousted by six-year-old Edith Fuller of Oklahoma.