SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — An 8th-grader at Caddo Middle Magnet made it to the quarterfinals in the Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals in Washington, D.C. this year.

Caddo Middle Magnet student Sahil Thorat, a talented 13-year-old, is set to showcase his exceptional spelling skills at the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee quarterfinals in Washington, D.C. This year, Sahil stands out not only as a spelling whiz but also as a two-time Mathcounts state-level competitor. Alongside his academic achievements, he engages in a range of hobbies, including chess, origami, piano, flute, and archery. Sahil’s dedication extends to his community, where he volunteers with local organizations like Shreveport Green and Holy Angels. With aspirations in medicine, Sahil is a remarkable individual with a bright future.

“CMM is so PROUD of the 27 participants of the (regional) bee this year. ALL of you studied which made for a fierce competition. It took 2 hours & 40 min and 135 words in order to declare our champion. Special shout-out to the top 5: 1. Sahil Thorat 2. Sophia Elliot (not pictured) 3. Cooper Caldwell (not pictured) 4. Miles Mainero 5. Champion Holloway,” said Caddo Middle Magnet teacher Kristy Spillane.

  • Spellers in the top 5 of the regional Scripps Spelling Bee championship
  • Spellers in the top 5 of the regional Scripps Spelling Bee championship
  • Spellers in the top 5 of the regional Scripps Spelling Bee championship

Sahil Thorat is no stranger to national spelling accolades, having reached the quarterfinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee last year, where he tied for 49th place. His journey this year has been impressive, securing his place in the semifinals after skillfully spelling words like “cioppino” and “defining hermitage.” In the competition, spellers have 90 seconds to correctly spell a word once it has been pronounced, with limited questioning time. Sahil’s remarkable performance demonstrates his command over language and dedication to his craft.

The preliminary rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee commenced on Tuesday, May 30. Each speller participated in up to two rounds during the initial part of the preliminaries. Those who advance through the quarterfinals on May 31 will proceed to the semifinals, taking place later that day. The competition culminates with the finals, where finalists will compete for the championship on Thursday.

Sahil’s journey to the national competition is supported by Louisiana State University Shreveport, serving as a regional partner and overseeing the competition. Their sponsorship enables Sahil to represent his school and region on the grand stage.

Since the competition’s inception in 1925, Louisiana has seen one champion emerge victoriously. In 2021, Zalla Avant-garde from New Orleans made history as the first Black American champion. Notably, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was canceled during 1943-1945 due to World War II and in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s ultimate champion will receive a substantial prize package, including $50,000 in cash, a medal, the coveted Scripps Cup, and various other prizes. Additionally, finalists will be awarded cash prizes ranging from $2,000 to $24,000.

The team at KTAL is excitedly cheering for Sahil as he represents Caddo Middle Magnet and the entire community in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Sahil, your supporters at KTAL are behind you every step of the way!