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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Del Mar 8th Grader Wins San Diego County Spelling Bee

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Alex Kahng, 14, of Del Mar spelled his way to victory Wednesday in the San Diego County Spelling Bee Championship. The Earl Warren Middle School eighth-grader clinched the win with a word he instantly recognized.

Alex Kahng, 14, of Del Mar spelled his way to victory Wednesday in the San Diego County Spelling Bee Championship.

The Earl Warren Middle School eighth-grader clinched the win with a word he instantly recognized.

"The word is “Nexus,” announced spelling bee master, Dr. David Hay. “Nexus?” Kahng replied. “Nexus,” confirmed Hay. “N-E-X-U-S, Nexus,” Kahng stated, with confidence. "That’s correct and you win!” said Hay.

Kahng out-spelled 85 other competitors through five rounds. He was nonchalant about winning, but the two runners-up were in tears after the competition. Kahng said he has a lot more work to do.

"I have to study more, but I’m relieved that I won this one and can go to nationals,” he said.

Kahng attributes his win to studying word lists two hours each day, and being quizzed by his mom, Son Young Kahng. She said spelling bee champs run in the family. "He's had a little pressure from dad, cause auntie went to the national spelling bee when she was in 8th grade, so he was excited to try," she said.

As the county champ, Alex will travel to Washington, D.C. in June to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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