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Culver City student advances in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Speller Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, receives the trophy from President and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company Richard Boehne after she won the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition May 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. Shivashankar correctly spelled the word "Laodicean" and became the champion in round 16.  (Thinkstock: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Speller Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, receives the trophy from President and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company Richard Boehne after she won the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition May 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. Shivashankar correctly spelled the word “Laodicean” and became the champion in round 16. (Thinkstock: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A seventh-grader from Culver City Middle School correctly spelled “inessive” as he began competing in the semifinals of the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee today in National Harbor, Maryland.

“Inessive” is an adjective meaning of a grammatical case, denoting position or location within.

Cooper Komatsu will be asked to spell another word later this morning to complete the semifinals. The field of 49 will then be reduced to a maximum of 12, based on scores on multiple-choice spelling and vocabulary tests taken Tuesday and Wednesday.

Semifinalists misspelling a word on the stage of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center are eliminated.

Cooper correctly spelled “amarillo” — a noun referring to several tropical American timber trees — and “nockerl” — an Austrian souffle — during the second and third rounds Wednesday.

The bee will conclude today. It has been won by Californians three times, but never by a Los Angeles County resident.

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