Only 16 remain in quest to become nation's top speller

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Middle and elementary school students from across the country shine on the national stage, spelling words they may have never even heard before.

National Spelling Bee trophy is up for grabs (Source: Gray DC)

After competitions across the country, more than 500 made the trip to National Harbor, Md. to compete for the crown. Thursday began with 50 still in the running, now, only 16 remain.

They are:
Rishik Gandhasri - San Jose, California
Simone Kaplan - Davie, Florida
Aisha Randhawa - Corona, California
Erin Howard - Huntsville, Alabama
Nicholas D'Sa - Tustin, California
Saketh Sundar - Clarksville, Maryland
Alice Liu - Chesterfield, Missouri
Yolanda Ni - Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Navneeth Murali - Edison, New Jersey
Colette Giezentanner - Saint Louis, Missouri
Shruthika Padhy - Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Sohum Sukhatankar - Dallas, Texas
Abhijay Kodali - Flower Mound, Texas
Christopher Serrao - Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Rohan Raja - Irving, Texas
Hephzibah Sujoe - Fort Worth, Texas

You can catch our interviews with those who made, and those who just missed out in the video player above.

The final rounds of the Bee will start Thursday, May 30th at 8:30 p.m. (EST).

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