Three Alameda County "super spellers" were among 500 students competing in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to be the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, according to the county's Office of Education.
Anisha Rao from Dublin, Anabel Loucks from Piedmont and Ojas Vatsyayan from Fremont participated in the national qualifier during "Bee Week" that started earlier Tuesday.
The top 40 spellers from the national qualifier will advance to the national finals, which will be televised Thursday on ESPN.
All three contestants were competing in the Scripps national qualifier for the first time. Last year, Rao placed third in the statewide spelling bee.
Rao is a seventh grader at Eleanor Murray Fallon Elementary School, Vatsyayan is a sixth grader at Fred E. Weibel Elementary School and Loucks is an eighth grader at Piedmont Middle School.