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Kavya Shivashankar, an eighth grader from Olathe, Kansas, correctly spelled L-a-o-d-i-c-e-a-n to win the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night.

Kavya won at the end of a championship round in which runner-up Tim Ruiter was eliminated on "maecenas" and third-place finisher Aishwarya Pastapur was eliminated on "menhir."Making her fourth appearance in the national bee, Kavya looked calm and collected throughout, never wavering as she spelled words like "phoresy" in the championship round.

(The other championship round words that were spelled correctly were antonomasia, bouquiniste, oriflamme, guayabera, isagoge and sophrosyne.)In earlier rounds, Kavya effortlessly rattled off seemingly challenging words like "hydrargyrum," "blancmange" and "baignoire."Having finished in the Top 10 each of the last three years, Kavya was considered one of the favorites entering the bee.

A student at California Trail Junior High School, Kavya enjoys playing the violin, bicycling, swimming, and learning Indian classical dance.

She plans to become a neurosurgeon.
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