Edith Fuller, 6, is National Spelling Bee's youngest-ever competitor

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A San Jose middle-schooler vying for a repeat visit to the championship rounds of the National Spelling Bee was knocked out on his first word of Thursday's finals.

Faith Baca of Aurora, an eighth-grader at the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, successfully spelled "sempiternal", which means eternal and unchanging.

The bee officially began Tuesday with a multiple choice test that required each contestant to spell 12 words and identify the definitions of 14 more.

Advice that has worked well for the returning speller as she continued on the path to national spelling bee champion.

A score of at least 29 was needed on the test to advance to the finals. She nailed transpicuous Wednesday in the third preliminary round.

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"I am really happy and kind of surprised", the aspiring pianist who enjoys chess and table tennis said at the time. On Wednesday, participants had to spell two words on stage. Last year, VanWynsberghe competed in the 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee and was eliminated after incorrectly spelling a word in the second round of oral spelling during the preliminaries. But Edith didn't qualify for the finals after a written test and won't be seen on stage Thursday.

The 90th national bee features spellers, ages 6 to 15, from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Schools in Europe.

For the first round, the students had an idea of the word they would be getting which judges chose from their study guide.

At only 11 years-old, Hennessey still has three more years of eligibility.

"A 6-year-old, sitting in one place, not interacting with anybody, for two hours is the equivalent of torture", said her father, Justin Fuller.

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