Ananya Vinay, the 12-year-old spelling wiz from Fugman Elementary in Clovis Unified, says she is no longer as nervous as she used to be on stage, especially after winning the California State Elementary Spelling Bee for the third year in a row.
Ananya won Saturday in Stockton, clinching the victory with “dipsomaniac.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the noun “dipsomania” as “an uncontrollable craving for alcoholic liquors.”
Competing is becoming less and less scary for her, she said, because she has improved so much over the years.
She describes the experience as a “journey” and now looks forward to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C. She first competed there in 2016, qualifying out of the Fresno County Spell-Off that’s sponsored by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools office in partnership with The Fresno Bee. Other sponsors include Fresno State, Chevron, Granville Homes, EECU Credit Union, the Shops at River Park and the ERC grant writing firm.
Ananya said she wants to do well in the Scripps competition, aiming for the top 10 and eventually winning the competition. She has two more years after this year – assuming she qualifies.
Based on her results so far, that seems a safe bet.