Eighth-grader Daniel Doudna earned a return trip to the national finals and is carrying on the family tradition. The home-school student spelled “pistachio” to win the 25th annual Interior Alaska Spelling Bee in Fairbanks, Alaska. He won the competition last year, and his two sisters previously won in 2005 and 2015.
Gauri Vashisht, a sixth-grader at West Ridge Middle School, said she couldn't have won without her mom's help with studying. She spelled "attenuate" in Round 31 to win the Origin Bank All-Parish Spelling Bee in Monroe, Louisiana. She studied hard in hopes of finishing well, but winning was not her priority.
Photo credit: Jeanette Slayter, The News-Star
Liam Nyikos, an eighth-grader at Carlsbad Intermediate School in Carlsbad, New Mexico, hoisted his trophy proudly after winning for the third time in four years. He won the El Paso Times spelling bee by correctly spelling "systematically." His talents range beyond spelling. He's competing in a regional science fair, too.
Photo credit: Ruben R. Ramirez, El Paso Times
Sai Lakkimsetti was runner-up last year to the youngest national finals competitor ever, Edith Fuller. This year, Sai is the one advancing to D.C. The 9-year-old from Southeast Elementary in Jenks, Oklahoma, spelled "bottine" correctly in the Green Country regional bee competition that lasted more than five hours and involved over 300 words.
Photo credit: KJRH-TV 2 Works for You
Fifth-grader Delaney Nash from Union Chapel Elementary in Kansas City, Missouri, is ready for a whirlwind adventure to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She won the Park Hill School District spelling bee. The district invites students to take a computerized spelling test. The top 60 advanced to the district spelling bee, and Delaney spelled her way to the top.
Photo credit: Park Hill School District
After a marathon battle of four hours and 22 rounds, Anoushka Upadhye, an eighth-grader from Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, Virginia, was crowned champion of the Loudoun County spelling bee. She was runner-up last year, so she committed herself to winning it all this year. Her championship word was “cinematheque.”
Photo credit: Patrick Szabo, Loudoun Now
Hephzibah Sujoe, a sixth-grader from Bethesda Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas, is following in her brother's footsteps. She correctly spelled "tenebrism" in the 16th round to earn a trip to D.C. in the College of Education at Texas Christian University regional bee. Ansun Sujoe was a co-champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2014.
Photo credit: TCU, College of Education
After being runner-up in last year's Calvert County Spelling Bee in Maryland, Sadie Storm was determined to work diligently for another shot at the title. Her hard work paid off as the eighth-grader from Plum Point Middle School won this time and now advances to compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C. Sadie is in the center of the photo.
Photo credit: Calvert County Public Schools
Aisha Randhawa made it three in a row with her victory at the Riverside County Spelling Bee. The seventh-grader at Auburndale Intermediate School in Corona correctly spelled “bulbul” in round 29 of a three-hour-plus bee. She is only the third person in the 41-year history of the local program to win the event three times. The sponsor is The Press-Enterprise.
Photo credit: The Press-Enterprise
For Addison Champion, her name is also her title: she's the champ of the Cleveland County spelling bee in Shelby, North Carolina. The Springmore Elementary School fourth-grader competed for the first time this year, and beat out 21 fellow competitors with the word “ductile.” The Shelby Star and Newspapers in Education sponsor the program.