Fourteen-year-old Harini Logan spelled a total of 21 confirmed correct words in 90 seconds to take home the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee title on Thursday night.
The San Antonio, Texas, native joined “Good Morning America” on Friday following the historic spell-off — the first in the competition’s history — to share how she made those crucial moments look so effortless.
“For me it was really just getting into that mindset where I could have that just calmness so I could focus on the words rather than getting stressed out,” she said. “I was a little tense and it definitely was a bit difficult but I think I just decided to focus on the words and just plow through.”
Although she missed a few words, Harini said she knew all the ones she spelled correctly. As for her speedy spelling strategy, she said she “did practice for the spell-off a bit,” but in the end the secret to her success was to “go in fast would [and] really just be focusing on the word, just reading all of the information as quick as I could and keep on going.”
“It definitely takes a lot of dedication and commitment and like so much hard work, and at my house my mom is sort of my coach,” Harini added. “It takes a lot of commitment … and, of course, a passion for the spelling bee.”
The eighth grader still has plenty of ambitious plans ahead: She heads to high school next, where she said she wants to write a book.