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Eye on the prize: Two of Tri-state's best spellers compete in National Spelling Bee today

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 09:19:01-04

CINCINNATI -- Two of the Tri-State’s best spellers are competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Wednesday.

Tanvi Rakesh, a fourth-grader at Longbranch Elementary, and Sheridan Hennessey, a fifth-grader at Hyde Park Elementary, won the Region I and II Kentucky-Indiana Regional Spelling Bees back in March.

Now they are both in Washington, D.C. to compete among 300 spellers for the national title.

“I’m trying to go as far as I can because it’s just a great experience to be there,” Rakesh said.

Although both girls are already winners, they still worked hard to strengthen their skills with practice.

Rakesh said she practiced three to four hours a day for the national competition. Hennessey said she has been doing steady coaching with her parents. 

RELATED: Scripps Bee: How to watch it

Hennessey said she studies hard because she hopes to become one of the youngest winners ever in the competition.

“I’ve seen movies about 11-year-olds winning,” Hennessey said. “I guess it could happen if I study enough.”

While still taking the completion seriously, Rakesh is looking to enjoy herself.

“I can learn about different subjects and it’s a lot of fun for me,” Rakesh said.

The first round of the national competition is set to start on Wednesday in the D.C. area.

Preliminaries for the Bee started at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Go here for everything you need to know to follow their progress in the competition.