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UPDATE: Loudoun Speller Makes National Bee Semifinals

© Leesburg Today - 05/27/2015

Obreptitious is the word that Shiv Lamba correctly spelled this afternoon to make it past the third round in the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.

His score on a written vocabulary exam, an oral exam and another correctly spelled word in Round 2-hacienda-secured him one of just 49 spots in the semifinal round, which begins at 10 a.m. Thursday.

In March, the Loudoun Country Day School eighth-grader beat out 73 other elementary and middle school students at the Loudoun County Regional Spelling Bee, sponsored by Leesburg Today.

He's spent the weeks that have followed studying the spellings, origins and definitions of thousands of words in preparation for this week's national bee, where he faces 285 of the nation's top young spellers.

He has a big group of supporters cheering him on from his school in Leesburg. Students at Loudoun Country Day School gathered around the TV in classrooms and in the cafeteria to watch their classmate spell on national television.

""Several students from multiple grades and faculty watched in my room today to see him correctly spell 'hacienda',"" Shiv's English teacher Abby Weiss wrote in an email to Leesburg Today. ""It was incredible to watch all the students support him and erupt into applause and cheers when he got it right!""

Follow Shiv, speller No. 259 on TV or online via live stream.

Round 3 of the bee will air live on ESPN3 beginning at 1:15 p.m. today. The semifinal round will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Thursday on ESPN2; the championship round will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, and can be watched live on ESPN.

Stay with Leesburg Today for continued coverage of Shiv's progress in the bee.

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