Saketh Sundar, speller 187, is a Maryland sixth grader. He tied for 46th place last year.
Saketh said he was feeling "ecstatic" because "I never expected to come this far."
Last year, he was a couple points away from the finals. He went home, and watched it on TV.
"I didn't want to come back and not get into the finals again," he said. "I'm going to give it my best."