The spellers are dealing with nerves this morning - and without the help of some fidget spinners that could help them channel their energy.

"I’m pretty nervous," said Nikhil Lahiri, speller 163. He spelled outarde, a Canada goose.


"The outarde that chased Marie in the parking lot of the grocery store was the rudest Canadian she'd ever met," Dr. Bailly said.

When he asked speller 167, Sreeniketh Vogoti, if he was ready, the nerves were there, too.


"More or less," he said.

Sreeniketh tied for seventh place last year. He spelled catafalque correctly.