Forty finalists are still standing as the competition at the Scripps National Spelling Bee heads into its last day.
And they include 14-year-old Thomas York of Rochester, an eighth grader at St. Francis of Assisi School.
Perhaps it runs in the family for Thomas, whose father, Michael York, also competed in the Spelling Bee back in 1982.
But if you think learning new words to spell takes all his time, think again. Thomas' bio reveals his musical and athletic talents. He plays saxophone, piano, and guitar as well as hockey, football, and baseball.
Minnesota sent six spellers to the spelling bee, all of whom made it through at least one round of competition. Find all 40 of the finalists here.
Part one of the finals will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. Part two will be on regular ESPN starting at 7:30 p.m.
Below is an earlier version of the story
Six Minnesota students have taken to the stage at the Scripps National Spelling Bee and have made a good start.
The second and third rounds of the event are taking place on Wednesday, with a wrong answer spelling elimination for competitors.
Minnesota's six competitors all got their 2nd round words correct, with Fairmont's Briana Joseph and Rose Han from Staples also getting their third round words right.
At the end of round 3, successful spellers will have their scores added to the results of a preliminary test they took on Tuesday, to determine if they make it to the next round.
Here's a look at what they've had to spell so far.
It's the time of the year when young children are placed under intense pressure in front of almost a million people watching on national television.
Yes, the Scripps National Spelling Bee got underway with the preliminary round on Tuesday, with rounds two and three taking place on Wednesday.
The competition, which pits the country's best spellers (and some from Canada and Japan) against each other and challenges them to spell increasingly difficult words in front of ESPN cameras, has been running since 1925.
There are six Minnesota students in the running for the title.
- Briana Joseph, speller No. 61, from Fairmont.
- Rose Han, speller 119, from Staples.
- Ainsley Boucher, speller 228, from Crookston.
- Will Rooke, speller 241, from Deephaven.
- Thomas York, speller 281, from Rochester.
- Meryl Tigenoah, speller 286, from Baxter.
As of 8 a.m. only Briana had faced her round 2 word – and she spelled it correctly.
You can follow their progress on ESPN and also by following the official Scripps National Spelling Bee Twitter account, which is tweeting the performance of every competitor.
Thirty-six points were up for grabs preliminary spelling and vocabulary test, with scores in this test being added to contestants' performances in rounds two and three – where they get three points for each correct spelling – to determine whether they advance to later rounds.
Here are some of the other words asked so far Wednesday morning.