Three Gem State Students in Today's National Spelling Bee

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To bee or not to bee. The nail-biting national spelling bee gets under way today in Washington, D.C., with Idaho being represented by three youngsters: 12-year-old Malie Curren of Driggs, 14-year-old Sarah Sedy of Coeur d'Alene and 14-year old Ian Wendt of Moscow.

The Gem State trio are among 278 spellers from throughout the United States to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which launches its preliminary rounds today with a written test for all competitors. On Wednesday, there will be two more preliminary rounds. The top-scoring 50 spellers to survive all three preliminaries will advance to the semifinals on Thursday morning, and the championship finals, to be broadcast live on ESPN, will take place Thursday night.

Competitors must be in the eighth grade or younger.

Last year's winning word was "cymotrichous." Compare that to 1930's winning word, "fracas."

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