Southern California schools have 10 young contestants representing them in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week.
Among them are bee veterans Cooper Komatsu, 13, of Culver City, who is returning for his second time; Samuel Littrell, 14, of Placentia, also competing for a second time; and Kaylee Kim, 14, of Fort Irwin, competing for a third time. See the full list below and click through the slideshow to see each contestant.
The competition brings together 285 young spellers who have advanced from their regional contests to compete for the national championship. The youngest competitor is 6 (yes, just one!). The oldest competitors are 15.
The contest began on Tuesday with a multiple-choice spelling and vocabulary quiz.
On Wednesday, the competitors will face off in two single elimination rounds — one misspelled word, and they’re out of the competition.
At the end of the day, quiz scores will be used to help whittle the pool of remaining contestants down to a maximum of 50.
The final rounds begin Thursday morning, with a championship round Thursday evening.
Regardless of quiz results, all spellers will get to compete in the first round, and the list of contestants who get to advance will be posted by 2 p.m. Pacific Wednesday.
How to watch
ESPN has exclusive live broadcast rights, so you can watch on TV or stream online here if you have a cable subscription. The broadcast begins at 5 a.m. PT, but there’s another round in the afternoon.
Other ways to follow the action
Test your spelling skills
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a champion speller, you can take an online test drawing from last year’s words. It’s no joke.
|Thalia Hoang-Vy Nguyen||8||12||7th||Freedom Middle School||Bakersfield|
|Haley Jeffers||9||13||7th||Las Colinas Middle School||Camarillo|
|Daniel Chen||10||13||7th||Loving Savior of the Hills Lutheran School||Chino Hills|
|Ali H. Hussain||11||13||7th||Kennedy Middle School||El Centro|
|Cooper Komatsu||13||13||8th||Culver City Middle School||Culver City|
|Aisha K. Randhawa||15||10||5th||Garretson Elementary School||Corona|
|Ethan Thomas Gomulka||18||11||6th||Del Rosa Christian School||San Bernardino|
|Ella Grace Peters||19||13||7th||Notre Dame Academy||San Diego|
|Samuel Littrell||21||14||8th||Kraemer Middle School||Placentia|
|Kaylee Kim||281||13||8th||Fort Irwin Middle School||Fort Irwin|