The contestants are 13-year-old Neha Konakalla of Cupertino and 13-year-old Audrey Marie Bantug of San Ramon. They will compete for the national title in Maryland.
The contest has a new twist this year. In addition to knowing how to spell a word, the 281 contestants will also need to know a word's definition.
The first on-stage round begins Wednesday morning at 5 a.m. on ESPN3.