If there are two things Razeen Basunia knows, it's clouds and medical terms.
And both things came in handy Tuesday in helping the Rollings Middle School of the Arts seventh grader win Spellbound!, the Lowcountry's regional spelling bee.
It took 15 rounds for the field of 50 spellers to be narrowed to two, Razeen and Charleston Catholic fifth grader, Joshua Ludlam.
First the boys, both 11, stumbled on "spondean," then Razeen spelled "credenda" before Joshua misspelled "altocumulus."
After Razeen spelled it, and the judges initially said it was wrong, as Razeen stood baffled on the stage.
After conferring, they reversed their decision.
Razeen then went on to win with "polypharmacy."
"When he was 6 or 7, he was fascinated with clouds, so I thought he heard that word before," said his mother, Ayesha Zaman, afterwards.
"And my mom is a registered nurse, so I know a lot of medical words," Razeen added.
Razeen, winner of this year's Dorchester District 2 bee, is also a son of Mahmudunnabi Basunia.
He placed fourth at last year's Spellbound! competition.
A piano student at Rollings who skipped second and third grades, Razeen said he knew most of the words given to spellers on Tuesday.
"I was just thinking if I lost, then me staying up to 3 a.m. last night would have been all for nothing," said Razeen, he said. "So here's one thing I know now: I just can't believe I won this."
Joshua, the son of Gary and Cheryl Ludlam of Goose Creek, carries on a family tradition. Last year his sister, Elizabeth, finished second in the competition while representing Divine Redeemer Catholic School as an eighth grader.
The Spellbound! competition started with 50 finalists representing Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester 2, Dorchester 4 and Colleton County school districts, as well as Lowcountry Catholic Schools, the South Carolina Independent School Association and Lowcountry Home and Private Schools. More than 40,000 students took part in the elimination process.
Razeen won an all-expense paid trip to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held May 25 to 31 in Washington, D.C.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.
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