It's an amazing journey that started with 11 million National Spelling Bee hopefuls and it got whittled down to 519 contestants in Washington D.C. which is going on right now. That's why it's so amazing that we have two local competitors who made to this big time competition!

13-year-old Melodie Loya of Bainbridge, NY is a repeat competitor after doing well in the competition last year and our other local speller is 14-year-old Theodore Ignatovsky of Cooperstown.  To follow their progress log on to and you can watch the finals starting at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday on ESPN.

We wish Melodie and Theodore all the best in the Spelling Bee!  If one of them wins, they take home $40,000, a trophy and get trips to New York City and Los Angeles.

Melodie Loya (Credit:
Theodore Ignatovsky (Credit: