Alice Liu, speller 252, is out on "Rassenkreis." It's a species having several types or subdivisions especially when exhibiting a pattern of geographical replacement of one type by another.
The Missouri seventh grader tied for 34th place last year and 12th in 2017.
Today, she spelled words including manoletina, wesselton, kairos, psoas, chaebol, murrelet and surculose.
Alice said she liked following along with everybody else's words. She expected to get this far, she said, but was still nervous.
"The words I got, I just happened to know," she said. "I'm just so happy."
So far, she said, she's happy with her performance, and with the camaraderie that come with the Bee.
"It's been a really fun experience," she said.
She likes that spelling is more than memorization.
"You can figure it out," she said. "If I don't know it, I can piece it together."
Alice said she's gotten support from all over, including an anonymous postcard cheering her on.
"There are so many people supporting and helping us," she said. "It's an amazing feeling."
She said she's grateful people are looking up to her.
"I looked up to a lot of people, too," she said.
She said she's grateful for the viewers, who drive the enthusiasm that she said improves the competition.
Alice also likes to play oboe, piano and violin, and ride her bike around her neighborhood.