A sixth-grade Marksman can officially call himself one of the best spellers in the nation. After winning the county-level spelling bee in February, Sohum Sukhatankar ’24 placed third at the 60th annual Golden Chick Dallas Regional Spelling Bee on March 24, 2018, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. While only the winner typically advances, a new rule allows former national competitors to apply directly for the national competition. As a result, Sohum, who placed in the national top 40 last year, traveled to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
On Thursday, May 31, Sohum competed in the National Spelling Bee, broadcast live on ESPN. He advanced six rounds, earning a spot among the nation's Top 30 spellers. Sohum correctly spelled amimia, dramaturgy, peirastic, and cacuminal, before slipping up on lingiperdous.
“We are all proud of Sohum's successes, but we are even more proud of his humility and sportsmanship,” said Danielle Clayton, Middle School humanities teacher. “He is quite a mature young man and a driven wordsmith.
Following his county-level win, Sohum talked to the sixth-grade student newspaper about his training regimen. “First, I gather resources and do a trial run to see how many I get wrong. Then, I order the resources from the ones where I made the most mistakes to the ones where I made the fewest to organize them by priority. I make sure to go over each resource thoroughly.”
At the Dallas Regional Spelling Bee, Sohum lasted 26 rounds before mistaking the word “religate” for “relegate.” The remaining two competitors continued spelling until officials ran out of words and named them co-champions.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.