Desert Canyon student wins SUSD Spelling Bee for fourth straight year

From left to right: Tate Meyerl; Phil Trang; Kate Radonich; Omkar Bharath; Victoria Leung; and Alessi Utterbackl. (Submitted photo)

Every year that Omkar Bharath has been eligible to compete in the Scottsdale Unified School District Spelling Bee, he’s walked away with the title; from 2016-18 as a third, fourth and fifth grader at Redfield Elementary School, and in 2019, as a sixth grader at Desert Canyon Middle School.

“That puts some pressure on me,” Omkar said in a prepared statement after downing Bee winners from 23 other SUSD schools Friday, Jan. 18. “It’s good pressure. It motivates me to keep trying to do it.”

Spellers faced words such as ambuscade, haberdashery, portentously and munificent. Omkar’s winning word after 13 rounds was agitated, according to a press release.

Next up for the DCMS winner and the five runners-up of the SUSD Bee is the Feb. 22 Region II Bee, which the Deer Valley Unified School District is hosting.

The runners-up are Victoria Leung, seventh grade, Mountainside Middle School; Tate Meyer, fifth grade, Redfield Elementary School; Kate Radonich, seventh grade, Ingleside Middle School; Phil Trang, fifth grade, Hopi Elementary School; and Alessi Utterback, fifth grade, Anasazi Elementary School.

Region Bee winners advance to the Arizona Spelling Bee on March 23. The state Bee winner will represent Arizona in the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee in suburban Washington, D.C., May 28-30, a release said.

Omkar said while his goal is to get to the national Bee before his eligibility expires in two years, his focus is getting ready for the regional competition and learning new words.

“This time around, whenever my mom and I saw a word we didn’t know, we looked it up,” he said. “Some of them have some very strange meanings.”

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