Meet The Scripps National Spelling Bee Top 10

By Dana Farrington

The spellers who made it into the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee gather on stage in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday.

The spellers who made it into the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee gather on stage in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Out of more than 280 spellers, only 10 remain. They will tackle words tonight beginning at 8 ET with hopes of becoming the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion. You can watch on ESPN or follow the competition’s twitter feed for updates.

Here are some highlights about this promising young group:

They range in age from 11 to 14 — six of them are 13.

It’s the first time four of them have been in the event. Five have competed once before, and one has participated twice before.

They hail from California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. (Search for spellers in your state on the bee’s website.)

The grandfather of finalist Cooper Komatsu competed in 1955. The brother of Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar competed in the National Spelling Bee five times — he was co-champion in 2014.

They love Scrabble and food and math. They’re boy scouts and dancers. They want to be neurosurgeons and learn how to play the ukulele.

Finalist Jairam Hathwar, 13, of Painted Post, N.Y., spells a word on Thursday morning.

Finalist Jairam Hathwar, 13, of Painted Post, N.Y., spells a word on Thursday morning. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Click on their bios to learn more:

No. 13: Cooper Komatsu

No. 16: Snehaa Ganesh Kumar

No. 20: Rutvik M. Gandhasri

No. 30: Sylvie Lamontagne

No. 38: Sreeniketh A. Vogoti

No. 74: Jashun Paluru

No. 114: Mitchell A. Robson

No. 152: Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar

No. 229: Smrithi Upadhyayula

No. 232: Nihar Saireddy Janga

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Source:: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/26/479664617/meet-the-scripps-national-spelling-bee-top-10?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=storiesfromnpr