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Beaverton speller defends her bee crown

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Beaverton middle schooler Divya Amirtharaj, 12, successfully spelled the words Sophoclean and armamentarium to win the 2014 Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee. She also was the 2013 winner.Beaverton middler-schooler Divya Amirtharaj successfully defended her 2013 Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee title Saturday afternoon, winning in 16 rounds by spelling the words “sophoclean” and “armamentarium.”

She’s the fourth repeat champion in the Portland bee’s 10-year history. Armamentarium is the word for medicine, equipment and techniques available to a medical practitioner. Sophoclean is related to the ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles.

Amirtharaj, 12, attends Meadow Park Middle School in Beaverton. This year’s runner-up, 10-year-old Umbre Khan of the Islamic School of the Muslim Education Trust in Tigard, also came in second to Amirtharaj in the 2013 bee.

This year’s bee included more that 50 students from the region and went 16 rounds. Eight spellers lasted until the later rounds, with four heading into the 12th round, and Khan and Amirtharaj going head-to-head for two rounds before Khan bowed out on the word “burgoo.”

Amirtharaj will compete in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 25 to 31 in Maryland. Last year, Amirtharaj went out in the third round of the 16-round tournament.