Rollings student to compete in National Spelling Bee prelims on Wednesday

Razeen Basunia, a seventh-grader at Rollins Middle Schoool for the Arts will attempt to qualify Wednesday for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A Rollings Middle School of the Arts seventh-grader will learn Wednesday if he has made it to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Razeen Basunia, 12, of Summerville, won the Dorchester District 2 bee in January and went on to claim the top title in March at Spellbound!, the Lowcountry's regional spelling bee, sponsored by The Post and Courier..

The 281 competitors at the national competition took computer-based preliminary tests on Tuesday and will compete in the second part of the preliminary round, spelling on stage, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The event will be streamed live on ESPN3.

In the preliminaries, spellers are awarded points for correct answers. At the end of the round, up to 50 students with the most points will advance to the semifinals. The semifinalists will be announced at 5 p.m.

On Thursday, the semifinals will air live from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN2, and the finals will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on ESPN. A maximum of 12 students will compete in the finals.

Other spellers from South Carolina are: Kalika Melody Burnett Bridwell, 13, of Woodruff; Isabella Mika Neubauer, 14, of Pawleys Island; Lloyd Aleister Bonds, 12, of Olanta; Andrew Dunn, 13, of Anderson; and the youngest competitor in this year's competition, Hussain A. Godhrawala, 8, of Barnwell.

Updates will be posted on the bee's Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Flickr accounts.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.