There wasn't a second of hesitation in Sarah Bhaskaran's voice.
In a perfect, intentional rhythm, the sixth-grade Paradise Canyon Elementary student spelled out, "t-e-r-r-a-z-z-o" and it was all over. Sarah, 11, had won the 2011 La Cañada Unified School District Spelling Bee, which was held at the district's Round Building Thursday night.
Sarah didn't pause to collect herself before spelling the word, even though she knew it was the deciding factor in who would be crowned the district's spelling-bee champion.
"It was from the [study] list," said Sarah, explaining why she had no difficulty with the word. "The ones that were on the list were easy."
Sarah spelled 20 different words off the top of her head in 90 seconds — outlasting 12 other district elementary students. Each district elementary school, La Cañada Elementary, Palm Crest Elementary and Paradise Canyon Elementary school, sent four contestants to LCUSD's annual spelling bee. Every student had to qualify through a spelling bee at their school.