How far can she get?

Ananya Vinay, speller 264, said she prepared more for the Bee this year – so she expected to do better than she had in the past.

Her goal is to see how far she could get. Last year, the California sixth grader tied for 172nd place.

“I hope I get a word I know and I just keep going,” she said.

So far, so good. She just spelled tasajillo, an arborescent prickly pear of the southwestern United States and Mexico with slender cylindrical joints and greenish yellow flowers, correctly in head-to-head competition.