National Spelling Bee becoming easier to predict

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Kelly said she was looking forward to visiting the National Portrait Gallery and touring the United States Capitol.

Almost three hundred spellers from across the country will line up on stage in Washington this week to participate in the 90th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. But in the spelling community, he was a seasoned competitor with an impressive resume.

Rakesh practices three to four hours a day and Hennessey is coached by her parents.

She's also honed her study habits.

"I just take like a deep breath and when they give me the word, I just like think it over in my head", he said, thinking back to how he won the county bee.

Scott's profile of McKeegan appeared in our Saturday edition.

"A little nervous, but I feel fine about it really", said Emelie OjukwuMale.

Ryan, who had twice placed third at the Long Island bee before winning this year, has been pouring over study guides that have rare words in them and words of different origins and patterns. That year she tied for 50th in the Scripps bee.

She is someone who makes us proud and sets an example for others - including the many young people who will follow in her footsteps in pursuing their own spelling bee dreams.

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Emelie OjukuMale, 13 years old, from Lagrange, Ohio, is really confident. A total of 291 spellers ages 6 to 15 will compete.

"My classmates are excited for me", he said. Who will come on top this year?

Sylvia will be a sixth-grader this fall at Oak Grove Elementary in St. Joseph.

The national competition begins Tuesday, when all spellers take a preliminary multiple-choice spelling and vocabulary test.

Scripps says its polling has revealed the favorite food of the spellers is pizza, their favorite sport in soccer, their favorite sports figure is Michael Phelps, their favorite actor is Emma Watson, their favorite musician is Taylor Swift, their favorite television show is "Shark Tank" and their favorite subject in school is math.

Una qualified for the national bee by repeating as champion of the 63rd annual Journal Gazette Regional Spelling Bee presented by STAR Financial Bank.

Getting ready for the big event has been a bit of a challenge for Connor, who has been splitting his time between several other obligations as the school year comes to a close, including sports, competing in the state geography bee and being part of Boonsboro Middle's "We The People" team.

A sister, Jasmine, then a pupil at Edison Junior High School, earned her spot in the national bee when she finished first in the Jefferson-Harrison County Regional Bee in 2015.

The 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee will be broadcast live through three of ESPN's stations.

About 10 spellers will advance to the Thursday night final round.