Grace Jones was one of the first to spell Wednesday. Carmel's Nicholas Ivan and West Lafayette's Jashun Panuru were the next two finalists to be eliminated.
The Cary resident is a veteran of the competition, tying for 39th place in the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Rageshree Ramachandran was the last Sacramento speller to win the national bee in 1988.
Last year, Jairam Hathwar of NY spelled "Feldenkrais" (a method of exercise therapy) and Nihar Janga of Texas spelled "gesellschaft" (social relations held together by impersonal ties), giving them a joint title.
After making the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday, local competitor Melodie Loya said, "It's a little nerve-wracking but you get used to it".
In 2016, Vogoti was one of the final 10 spellers in the championship round.
The last (and only) time a local won the bee was in 1984, when 13-year-old Daniel Greenblatt, from Sterling, Virginia, took home the trophy with "luge". All spellers moved onto Wednesday's Round Two. Only those who spell their word correctly move onto the next round.
"I think I'm going to try to aim to get my sister to D.C. next year", Sylvia said.
Ilagan, who attends Tates Creek Middle School in Lexington, successfully spelled the word "nephrotoxic", moving to the next round.
The finals are now being broadcast on ESPN 2. But Edith didn't qualify for the finals after a written test and won't be seen on stage Thursday.
"I've been sort of working on roots and stems and I have a program that gives me random words in sets of 150 so I was working through those", she added.
"She has prayed for me and encouraged me so much over the years", Rajeev said.
The finals will be Thursday.
The first place victor will get $40,000 cash prize and $2,500 United States savings bond; and the second and third winners will get $30,000 and $20,000, respectively.
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