SHAWANO, Wis. (AP) - A 13-year-old from Shawano will represent Wisconsin at this week's National Spelling Bee.
Karelyn Malliet won the state bee in March to clinch the berth in the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Maryland.
"People watching me on TV, that's a really scary thought, to be honest," Malliet told Gannett Wisconsin Media.
Some 281 spellers are scheduled to compete, including more than a dozen who have made it to the competition before. The spelling bee starts Tuesday with a preliminary vocabulary test.
The Shawano Community Middle School student has been studying daily since at least last summer, using spelling websites, preparation material from bee officials, and even her mother, who quizzes her on words.
She said she has graduated to studying not only words but patterns within words, which can help her figure out the spelling of a word she may not know.
"It's kind of useful to know stuff like root words and prefixes because if you know what it means sometimes you can break it apart based on that," Karelyn said in an interview before she flew to Washington on Sunday.
She has won the Shawano School District bee for the past three years. But this is the first time Karelyn won the state bee. She correctly spelled "fulgent" for the victory at the Badger State Spelling Bee.