Last year, Naysa Modi, speller 210, missed the semi-finals by one point.
"I'm so happy to come this far," the Louisiana sixth grader said. "I'm really ecstatic."
Naysa said she admired Simone Biles, because "she's short and energetic, just like me."
Naysa is in her third Bee. She tied for 50th place in 2015 and 46th place last year.
She enjoys participating because it enhances her self-confidence.
"It's not just words," she said. "It's staying calm on stage, staying calm under pressure, managing time. It's been really exhilarating."
Her plan for the evening?
"Just keep calm and spell on."