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Johnson County seventh-grader heading to Scripps National Spelling Bee

Posted at 2:47 PM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 14:08:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a second place finish at the State Sunflower spelling bee, an Overland Park middle school student is headed for Washington D.C. to compete on the national level.

Rebecca Xue of Lakewood Middle School leaves Sunday for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The seventh-grader held her first dictionary when she was 6 and has been in love with words and spelling ever since. She has been preparing for the national competition by studying word lists every night.

"I really personally like the adrenaline that you get when you step on (the stage) and you're at the microphone, and you're waiting to hear your word," Xue said.

Before she competed at the state level, Xue won the Johnson County spelling bee. She says people at the state competition thought she was a really good speller because of that.

"I'm not sure why, but everybody thinks the Johnson County spelling bee was really hard," Xue said.

Xue says she is looking forward to the national bee and thinks she has one advantage over the other spellers.

"I think keeping calm is one of my strengths because it doesn't interfere with my actual skill and knowledge of these words," Xue said.

Most of all, she is just looking forward to the experience.

"I'm just hoping to have a lot of fun and meet a lot of the spellers and meet new friends," Xue said.