Rishik Gandhasri of San Jose celebrates his co-championship at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. (Photo courtesy of ESPN)

It was an epic contest with no clear winner.

A seventh-grader from San Jose is one of eight kids who shared the crown at the national spelling bee championship in a never-before-seen finish to the 92-year-old competition.

Rishik Gandhasri, who attends Chaboya Middle School, and his fellow so-called “octo-champs” were among the 50 finalists who traveled to Washington, D.C., in order to compete in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

All eight endured a marathon 20-round competition that was televised by ESPN and finally ended at 12:05 a.m.

Rishik Gandhasri rejoices along with nervous family members after he correctly spelled “auslaut,” which means final position. (Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Because the competition uses a finite set of words selected to challenge the finalists’ skill level, and because the kids kept plowing through those words, organizers announced at one point that they would run though just three more rounds before declaring anyone left standing a co-champion.

Gandhasri’s last, winning word was “auslaut,” meaning final position.

During the competition the 13-year-old also correctly spelled Yiddishkeit, hendiadys, rhathymia and anthocyanin, among others.

“For the past several years, Rishik has demonstrated his phenomenal spelling skills in local and state competitions,” said Dan Deguara, acting superintendent of Evergreen School District. “His positive attitude and hard work has helped him to reach this milestone moment. All of his teachers and fellow students are incredibly proud of him.”

While Gandhasri was on his way home, Chaboya Middle School leaders were thinking of a good a way to celebrate his national achievement and were thinking of holding an assembly in his honor, according to a school official.

Kiley Russell writes primarily for Pagransen on issues related to equity and the environment. A Bay Area native, he has lived most of his life in Oakland. He studied journalism at San Francisco State University, worked for the Associated Press and the former Contra Costa Times, among other outlets. He has covered everything from state legislatures, local governments, federal and state courts, crime, growth and development, political campaigns of various stripes, wildfires and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.