Two local students competing in National Spelling Bee


NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (NBC/WAVY) — Hundreds of spellbound students are competing to be the queen bee.

The 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee is underway in National Harbor, Maryland, which is outside Washington, D.C.

This year, a record number 562 spellers from all 50 states, as well as a few from other countries, are spelling words some of us haven’t even heard before — all with the goal of landing in Thursdays’ final round.

Of those, two spellers are from the Hampton Roads area, according to the competition’s official website.

Srivarun Hathwar is a 7th grade student at Norfolk Academy. He likes to play golf and the clarinet — and competed in the 2018 National Spelling Bee, where he tied for 323rd overall.

Victoria Vidal is an 8th grade student at Virginia Beach Middle School, and is reportedly a huge fan of Disney and Pixar.

This is the second year of a program called RSVBee, which allows spellers who were knocked out of their regional competitions to apply for a wild card entry to the main stage.

This year, 270 of the spellers won their regional tournaments. Another 292 entered through the RSVBee program.

The youngest speller in this year’s bee is a 7-year-old from Texas.

Are you a super speller? Click here to try your hand at an actual National Spelling Bee Preliminaries Test to see if you could have qualified for the Finals.

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