Alisha Chakravarty of Turlock finished short of the finals at the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.
The 12-year-old was not among the 41 finalists based on two rounds of oral spelling and an earlier written test in spelling and vocabulary.
The finals will be Thursday in National Harbor, Md. , televised on ESPN.
Alisha, a student at Turlock Junior High School, was among 519 young people who went to the national bee based on state competitions and other criteria.
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She had advanced by spelling "Gallinazo," an ancient culture in Peru, and then "cathode."