Vismaya Kharkar, 14, of Bountiful, Utah, celebrates after learning that she made the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday in Oxon Hill, Md. Kharkar finished in fifth place in her third appearance at nationals, improving from her 10th-place finish in 2012. The eighth grader who attends the Challenger School was among the 11 finalists who advanced from a field of 281 contenders based on a combination of a performance onstage and their performance on a computerized spelling and vocabulary test. Arvind Mahankali, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., correctly spelled knaidel, a small mass of leavened dough, to win the 86th version of the competition.
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