The five contestants from Los Angeles County and two from Orange County and the rest of the record field of 562 will take to the stage for the first time at the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee today to spell words aloud.
Dina Miranda, an eighth-grader at Stanford Middle School, will be competing for her second year. In 2018, she tied for 19th place in the national competition and was the first student from Long Beach to make it to the finals. This is the last year Miranda will be able to compete, as the cut-off is eighth grade.
Contestants spelling their word correctly will advance to the third round, set to begin at 1:45 p.m. PDT at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.
The round will conclude Wednesday, followed by the announcement of which spellers will advance to Thursday’s finals.
Television coverage begins Tuesday at 5 a.m. on the ESPN App and the broadband network ESPN3.
The spellers took a multiple-choice test with 12 spelling words and 14 vocabulary questions Monday, part of the qualifying process to advance to the finals. The test is considered the bee’s first round.
Spellers spelling their third-round words correctly can advance to the finals, which are limited to a maximum of 50 spellers. Spellers’ scores are plotted on a chart beginning at 36. Spellers at each consecutive scoring level are added until 50 spellers have been attained.
Spellers receive one point for each of the 12 items correctly identified in the spelling portion of the test, one point for each of the 12 items correctly identified in the initial vocabulary section, three points for a correct answer to the lone item in the second vocabulary section and three points for a correct answer to the lone item in the third vocabulary section.
The other four Los Angeles County spellers are:
- Ayle Guevarra, a seventh-grader at Ernest Lawrence Middle School in Chatsworth
- Chloe Na, a sixth-grader at Tesoro del Valle Elementary School in Valencia
- Joseph Vicente, a fifth-grader at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Beverly Hills
- Joshua Villanova, a seventh-grader at Traweek Middle School in West Covina.
The bee is limited to students in eighth grade or below, with contestants ranging in age from 7 to 15 years old.
The field consists of spellers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense schools in Europe.
Seven foreign nations are also represented—the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.
The bee is intended “to inspire children to improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives,” according to Paige Kimble, the bee’s executive director and 1981 champion.
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