OXON HILL, Md. — Riya Hegde of Hudson sounded confident after taking the written test that kicks off the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“I was kind of nervous for it,” she said. “I did better on it than I did on the practice test, but I’m not really sure how it will turn out, but I did my best on it.”

Riya is a sixth-grader at Hudson Middle School. She won the Akron Beacon Journal’s regional spelling bee in March to earn her trip to compete in the event outside Washington, D.C.

She said she’s been using a few different tools to prepare for this week’s event, including a 600-word list provided by organizers.

“I did use the list, but I also used Scott Remer’s book ‘Words of Wisdom’ to study, and I’ve also been going through other lists and doing practice vocabulary tests,” Riya said.

Two other area students are taking part in the bee.

Jameson Tan, a student at Our Lady of the Elms in Akron, will be speller No. 386 in the bee. She couldn’t be reached Monday for comment. Riya said their families are friendly.

Speller No. 445 is Jordan Schwartz of Alliance, who is representing The Canton Repository.

Riya, 12, won the regional the first time she competed in it.

“I wasn’t really expecting to win because that was my first time, and I knew there were eighth-graders there who had been doing this all three years, but I was really excited when I did,” she said.

Riya will be speller No. 425 in the bee. She said she is looking forward to the event for some of the social aspects.

“I met a lot of new spellers, and it was cool because we all kind of have something in common,” Riya said. “We all have studied really hard and I thought it would be more studying, but it’s actually a lot of fun, seeing a lot of kids.”

The Scripps National Spelling Bee started Monday with 564 spellers. The winner, who will be crowned Thursday night, will receive $40,000. Next up is Tuesday’s Round 2, which involves spelling on stage.