Melodie Loya, 12, of Bainbridge, N.Y., spells her word out in her hand while competing in the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, June 1, 2017.
He correctly spelled animism, and requiem Wednesday after completing the written test Tuesday. She is among 72 spellers to make the finals at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
No matter. She got the word right and advanced to the finals of the competition. "She made it so far", Maia's mom, Antonia Marshall, said Wednesday.
"Before my words, I was very nervous", she said. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that one of the words she had to spell correctly was "nasopharynx".
Her father, Justin Fuller, and mother, Annie Fuller, said the event's organizers allowed her to arrive late, so she wouldn't have to wait for an hour, because she still has difficulty sitting through a Disney movie.
Those eliminated include 6-year-old Edith Fuller of Tulsa, Okla., the bee's youngest-ever speller.
"I would say it's about a 40 to 50 percent chance", he said with a chuckle. She said she knew all the words in the the second round and almost all in the third round.
The Arkansas native has been competing since he was in the fifth grade, according to his biography on the Scripps National Spelling Bee website. To determine those spellers, the scores of the preliminary vocabulary and spelling test are considered. The national champion will be crowned Thursday night during a live, prime-time broadcast on ESPN.
Fuller, who is homeschooled by her parents, qualified for the bee in March at just five years old, the age of most kindergartners. The students are competing for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes this year, including $40,000 for the victor.