NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Back for her fourth and final time at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Grace Remmer didn't disappoint.
With little hesitation, the home-schooled eighth-grader from St. Augustine correctly spelled "requiescence," which means a place or state of rest, in the first round of Thursday's semifinals.
Just before spelling the word, Grace and the rest of the audience at the Maryland Ballroom of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center watched a short video showing Grace playing the violin at home. Music is one of her passions.
Grace is one of 42 semifinalists and one of only three from Florida. The competition started with 281 spellers - 147 girls and 134 boys - from the U.S. and several foreign countries.
The youngest speller is 8-year-old Tara Singh of Louisville, Ky. Nearly 90 percent of the children are ages 12 to 14. Spellers cannot compete beyond the eighth grade.
Grace was one of three spellers in the competition who scored a perfect 30 in a preliminary written test that included both spelling and vocabulary questions.
Last year, she tied for 22nd.
Ledyard King, Gannett Washington Bureau