Arizona 8th grader advances at Scripps National Spelling Bee

Posted at 10:01 AM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 13:01:11-04

One of the Arizona's two representatives in the 90th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee advanced on Wednesday morning.

Penda Ba correctly spelled her first word in the preliminary round.

The 8th grader from Gilbert correctly spelled "scilicet."

Penda will now have the chance to spell a second word in the preliminary round.  If she gets that correct, the judges will factor in her score from Tuesday's written test.

If her score is in the top 50 or better, Penda will have a chance to spell in Thursday's Finals which can be seen on ESPN and ESPN2.

Look for updates on Penda's progress later today on

Arizona's other speller gave a great effort, but Kelly Haven, a 6th grader from Fort Defiance misspelled her first word of Wednesday's preliminary. She couldn't master the word "spessartine."