published Saturday, March 5th, 2011

McCallie student wins third straight regional spelling bee in Chattanooga

Laura-Chase McGehee /Chattanooga Times Free Press - Mar 5, 2011 - It's down to the final two as seventh grader Tanay Patri, left, of the McCallie School competes with eighth grader Colleen Guerry of the Baylor School in the 2011 Regional Spelling Bee held at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at UTC on Saturday afternoon. Patri out-spelled Guerry to win his third consecutive regional spelling bee. He will compete in Washington D.C. at the Scripts Spelling Bee in June.
Laura-Chase McGehee /Chattanooga Times Free Press - Mar 5, 2011 - It's down to the final two as seventh grader Tanay Patri, left, of the McCallie School competes with eighth grader Colleen Guerry of the Baylor School in the 2011 Regional Spelling Bee held at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at UTC on Saturday afternoon. Patri out-spelled Guerry to win his third consecutive regional spelling bee. He will compete in Washington D.C. at the Scripts Spelling Bee in June.

Can you spell “hat trick?”

Three-time spelling bee champ and McCallie seventh grader Tanay Patri sure can. He can also spell circumspect, locoweed and, his winning word in today’s local contest, whimsical.

Patri and his family are now headed to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, though Patri said he’s lucky to have made it through the competition.

REPLAY THE LIVE COVERAGE

Follow the live blog and replay the live video from the 2011 spelling bee. Also, see the full list of contestants. It's all right here.

“Spelling’s a lot about luck, but you’ve got to work hard to get where you are and even with luck, you’ve got to know what you’re doing,” the tennis player, Boy Scout and piano player said. “This year was the toughest.”

Patri almost missed the Times Free Press-sponsored bee. He was busy helping his chess team in a tournament, but left just in time to make it to the stage.

“I didn’t get to finish, but it’s good,” he said. “Our team won.”

For next year’s competitors, Patri had just one piece of advice.

“I just have to say, work hard,” he said.

Contact Carey O’Neil at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.

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