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Maya Jadhav

Eagle School fifth-grader Maya Jadhav, right, accepts the winner's trophy in February at the All-City Spelling Bee. She will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals Thursday to compete with 49 of the country's top spellers. 

Maya Jadhav, a fifth-grader at Fitchburg’s Eagle School, will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals Thursday where she will compete with 49 of the country’s top spellers.

Maya traveled to National Harbor, Maryland, this week for the Scripps Spelling Bee with seven other Wisconsin students: Immanuel Goveas, from Menomonee Falls North Middle School; Aryan Kalluvila, from Richfield Middle School; Frankie Bautista, from Edgewood Campus School; Kieran McKinney, who is home-schooled; Spencer Phillips, from Indian Mound Middle School; Julianne Washa, from Highland Community Elementary School; and Aiden Wijeyakulasuriya, from Blessed Sacrament School.

Maya, Immanuel and Aryan placed first through third, respectively, in the Badger State Spelling Bee; the other spellers earned places through a qualification test.

Maya was the only Wisconsin speller to advance as one of the top 50 spellers after spelling two words correctly Wednesday and scoring high enough on a written portion of the bee.

This is her second time competing at the national bee and first time advancing to the finals.

The finals begin at 9 a.m. CDT on Thursday and can be viewed on ESPN 2. The last rounds of the finals will be live on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. CDT.

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Shelley K. Mesch is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She earned a degree in journalism from DePaul University.