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MACtion in the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Because it's T-I-M-E to L-E-A-R-N about the MAC ties to this year's Bee

Champion Spellers Compete In Scripps National Spelling Bee
Nothing you do today will warrant this kind of celebration
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

On the surface, it sounds creepy to say that you should set your DVRs to watch teenagers. But the surface isn't what we are about here at the Belt, and I'd advise you to get your mind out of the gutter, sir or madam. Not all bloggers dabble in that sort of thing. But what all bloggers, nay, all good erudite red-blooded Americans enjoy, is the Scripps National Spelling Bee! I would say it's fantastic. F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C. Fantastic, an adjective, from late middle english origin, from the 16th to the 19th centuries the Latinized spelling phantastic was also used. Fantastic.

But in case you haven't done your prep work on this year's Bee, we have you covered with contestants that have a fair but of MACtion to their credit. This year's Bee, hosted in Washington, DC has three participants with direct ties to MAC member institutions through the sponsoring organization.

Speller No. 81 Samatha Lim Academia

Scripps National Spelling Bee

Sponsor: Ball State University - WIPB-TV

Age: 14

Bio: Samantha was born in the Philippines but moved to the United States at a very young age. She loves playing tennis and volleyball; in fact, when she's not studying her spelling words, you can usually find her at the tennis or volleyball court. Her goal is to study medicine at Harvard University and become a doctor one day. This is Samantha's first time at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She's excited for the experience and hopes to do well.

Speller No. 179 Lipika Narisetti

Scripps National Spelling Bee

Sponsor: Ohio University Scripps College of Communication

Age: 13

Bio: In addition to competing in spelling bees, Lipika competes in essay writing and vocabulary competitions, as well as science fairs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing violin and going on walks. At school, she is currently on the track team, and she recently participated in the Mathcounts competition with other members of her school team. Lipika's favorite subjects are math and science, and her dream job is a neurosurgeon. She previously competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2015, tying for 22nd place. Li[

Speller No. 180 Nilla Hunter Rajan

Scripps National Spelling Bee

Sponsor: Ohio University Scripps College of Communication

Age: 11

Bio: Nilla took to spelling because her studying involves reading books, especially those about Greek mythology. Her favorite books include The Blood of Olympus and the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, both by Rick Riordan. Nilla enjoys being on the stage and is a part of the Chillicothe Civic Theatre. She also loves listening to music and enjoys time with her pets (Matty the yellow Lab, Luna the beagle mix and Lucky the domestic shorthair cat). Nilla's favorite movie is Zootopia and her favorite song is "Try Everything" by Shakira, which is featured in the movie.

The 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee starts today with the preliminary tests, where the spellers will compete in a multiple choice test. The TV schedule for the Bee is as follows:

Wednesday, May 25 – Preliminaries

Round Two – ESPN3

8:00-9:45 – Spellers 1 through 142

10:00-11:45 – Spellers 143 through 285

Round Three – ESPN3

1:15-2:45 – Spellers 1 through 142

3:15-4:45 – Spellers 143 through 4:45

Thursday, May 26 – Finals

10:00 AM – Finals Part One on ESPN2

8:00 PM – Finals Part Two on ESPN

So set your DVRs, book your lunch breaks accordingly, because it's Spelling Bee time! My money is on Samantha Lin Academia. Solid last name for an educational competition, good hustle, strong motor, tremendous upside.