Baylor eighth grader Alisha Chandra has repeated as a qualifier for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Chandra qualified for the national competition last year, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chandra won the Baylor Middle School bee on Jan. 20 and qualified for the national competition by winning the regional bee, sponsored by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The national competition will begin with about 200 spellers – which is more than a 60% reduction from the 2019 event – competing in virtual preliminary and quarterfinal rounds in mid-June. Semifinals, also virtual, are scheduled for June 27. The ESPN-televised finals, slated for July 8 in Orlando. Fla., will feature 10-12 finalists. Prizes for the winner of the national bee include $50,000 in cash and the Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy.
The National Spelling Bee was formed in 1925 as a consolidation of numerous local spelling bees, organized by The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The E.W. Scripps Company acquired the rights to the program in 1941.