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East Setauket’s Ryan Himmelsbach reels in Hofstra spelling bee win

For the second straight year, the 13-year-old bested other Long Island students Sunday at the annual spelldown at Hofstra. He will advance to national finals in Maryland in spring.

Ryan Himmelsbach, a 13-year-old from East Setauket, won the Regional Scripps Spelling Bee held at Hofstra University on Sunday, February 11, 2018.  Photo Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

Ryan Himmelsbach, onstage and set to clinch a second trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, hadn’t recognized what would become the winning word: “teleost.” He may have skimmed the term describing jawed fish during his meticulous study of hard-to-spell word lists, he recalled.

Whether the fourth letter should have been an “i” flickered in his mind, but he landed on “e.” The lack of a judge’s...

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