Francis Parker School 7th grader Snigdha Nandipati – an Inland North County resident — had her magical run at the 84thAnnual Scripps National Spelling Bee Contest come to an end in the 5th round on Thursday.

She finished in a tie for 27th place out of the 11 million participants who started this competition at the local level several weeks ago. She was making her first appearance on the national stage as she won the Parker and San Diego County Spelling Bee Championships to qualify. The 2011 contest was the first year that Parker participated in the wildly popular national event.

Nandipati, who lives in Rancho Penasquitos, became one of 41 semifinalists on Wednesday after correctly spelling ‘avifauna’ in round two and ‘masala’ in round three.  She would be the first person to take the stage in round 4 in front of a live National Television audience on ESPN. Nandipati calmly spelled ‘méridienne’ before sitting and waiting for the other 40 spellers to complete the round. With only 35 contestants remaining, she would step to the microphone again to begin round 5. Her spelling of the word ‘kerystic’ would come up just one letter different as she was tripped up on the ‘y’, using an ‘i’ instead.

Nandipati will leave the competition having claimed the unofficial title of California State Champion as she was the only contestant remaining after round 3 from the Golden State, beating out 14 others. Additionally, she gains valuable experience that might come in handy for the 2012 competition, as she will only be an 8th grader next year and still eligible to compete. To do so, she will have to once again win her school and regional competition, which was no easy accomplishment.  In the Parker competition alone, she went head-to-head with all 317 Middle School students, eventually going 17 full rounds with two other students before prevailing.

Francis Parker Middle School is planning a celebration for Nandipati on its campus next week.  The event is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, on the school lawn, located at 6501 Linda Vista Road in San Diego.