Grayslake 8th grader Sahasrad Sateesh competes in Scripps National Spelling Bee finals

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An 8th grader from Illinois advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals Thursday night.

Sahasrad Sateesh of Grayslake attends Lake Forest Country Day School.

He made it to the top 12 by spelling "paleiform" correctly. That means chaffy or scaly, by the way.

In last year's competition, Sateesh finished in a tie for 21st place.

Sateesh also enjoys practicing karate, having received multiple awards in tournaments. He also created a piece of artwork about the first National Spelling Bee champion, Frank Neuhauser.

Unfortunately, Sateesh spelled his word, "cypsela," wrong. A cypsela is a small, dry indehiscent one-seeded fruit. But the spelling bee organizers told him he's engineered for success regardless.

A total of 234 spellers have taken part in this year's competition. LeVar Burton hosted the finals.
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