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Scripps National Spelling Bee: 7 top spellers in Southern California advance

Scripps National Spelling Bee: 7 top spellers in Southern California advance
Students await their turns Tuesday during the second round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the shadow of the trophy at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Five contestants from Los Angeles County and two from Orange County have advanced to the third round of the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Students will return to the stage at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C., on Tuesday afternoon. The round concludes Wednesday, followed by the announcement of which spellers will advance to Thursday’s finals.

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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.

Contestants spelling their third-round words correctly can advance to the finals, which are limited to a maximum of 50 spellers.

The Los Angeles County spellers are:

Ayle Guevarra, a seventh-grader at Ernest Lawrence Middle School in Chatsworth

Dina Miranda, an eighth-grader at Stanford Middle School in Long Beach

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 Orange County spellers are:

Dean Alkhairy, a seventh-grader at Fairmont Private Schools’ North Tustin Campus

Nicholas D’Sa, an eighth-grader at St. Cecilia Catholic School in Tustin

The bee is limited to students in eighth grade or below, with contestants ranging in age from 7 to 15.

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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