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Two Arizona kids aim to be Scripps National Spelling Bee champ

Posted at 10:43 AM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 17:05:32-04

The Scripps National Spelling Bee kicks off on Tuesday, May 30.

Arizona will be represented by two kids hoping to bring the title back to the Grand Canyon State.

Penda Ba is an eighth grader at Sossaman Middle School in Queen Creek. Kelly Haven is from Fort Defiance.  She's finishing up sixth grade at the Tsehootsooi Intermediate Learning Center. Both will be in Washington D.C. next week,  where they'll join 117 other kids from across the country.

Their first hurdle will be a test on Tuesday morning consisting of spelling and vocabulary items.

On Wednesday, Kelly and Penda will have a chance to stand on the stage next to their competitors.

If they spell two words correctly on stage, the judges will then factor in their preliminary test scores.

The top scorers will make it to the Finals on Thursday, which will air live on ESPN and ESPN2.