Brandon Aponte, a 12 year old home-schooled boy from Brooklin is one of  Maine's representative in the 2013 Scripps Spelling Bee which begins today in Washington D.C. He spelled crambo correctly to win the Maine title.

Brandon is the concertmaster of the Bay Chamber Youth Orchestra, and plays the violin at various community and church events. He swims on his local YMCA team, sails at the local yacht club in the summer and enjoys cup-stacking, ping-pong and kayaking. Brandon is traveling to the United Kingdom and Ireland for three weeks this summer as a student ambassador with People to People. He has two dogs named Jack and Bailey, and Brandon claims that the similarity of their names to official Scripps National Spelling Bee pronouncer Jacques Bailly is purely coincidental.



Also competing is 14 year old Lowell Ruck, a 8th grade middle schooler from Orono Middle School.  Lowell loves the outdoors and spends a great deal of time Nordic skiing, sailing and mountain biking. In school, he is on the ski team, participates in track and field, and is on the math team. He also plays six instruments—French horn, trombone, euphonium, recorder, tin whistle and mandolin—and plays in the Bangor Youth Symphony Orchestra and in a jazz band. In 2012, Lowell won a gold medal for his sketches in the Art in the Heart competition in Bangor. One of his unique skills is the ability to ride a unicycle, and he can even shoot a layup while riding one. Lowell would most like to meet U.S. Olympic skier Andy Newell, who is an inspiration to many young skiers from New England.

Contestants competed yesterday in the preliminaries and Round 2 of the Prelims may be seen on ESPN 3 from 8 AM - 11 :45 AM. Round 3 is this afternoon from 1:15 to 4:45.

There's a computer based test for the semifinalists tomorrow from 7 AM - 7:45 AM and then the Semifinals will take place live on ESPN 2 from 2 to 5 PM.

The Championship Finals take place live on ESPN Thursday, May 30th from 8 to 10 PM.

New this year, contestants have to know the meaning of the words, in addition to the correct spelling!