CSRA Students Competing In National Spelling Bee With New Rules

The National Spelling Bee that kicked off Tuesday and it has a new twist.

The 281 contestants won't only need to know how to spell a word, they also must know what the word means. It's the first time in the 86 years of the competition that there will be a vocabulary component.

The new rule was announced less than 2 months ago.

Definitions count for 50% of a speller's overall score.

And, we want to send out a big good luck to two local contestants:

Rachel Cundey, 14, from Lakeside Middle School is making her fifth consecutive appearance at the competition. DeAria Phoenix, 14, is from Allendale-Fairfax Middle School.

ESPN will air early rounds starting Wednesday. The finals are scheduled for Thursday night during prime time.

Good luck to our local spellers!!!

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