Eight months after 11 million students in classrooms across the country began the process to go to Washington, D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the competition is down to its final 291 spellers.
The three-round competition began Wednesday with the preliminary round. By Sunday, a new champion will be crowned.
Among the 291 finalists, four are from the local area. Kodai Speich, speller #223, is from Rockford, Magnus Keswani, speller #266, is from Sycamore, Rebekah Zeigler, speller #168, is from Polo and Olivia Charles, speller #203, is from Mt. Carroll.