BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — On Monday, the North Dakota State Spelling Bee took place at the Bismarck Event Center.

98 students from all over the state gathered to spell their H-E-A-R-T-S out. Of those 98 students, 26 were selected to go on to the final oral round. Luna Gasevic, a 7th grader from Cass County, placed first on Monday. Trailing in second place was Chinmay Gopi, an 8th grader also from Cass County. This is the second year that Gasevic and Gopi took home the first and second-place prizes.

Reporter Taylor Aasen met with one of the judges at the state spelling bee who has been the head judge there for more than 30 years.

“It’s fun and exciting It’s watching a state championship competition from the best spellers in the state of North Dakota,” says head judge Gaylynn Becker. “Hell, about a hundred people come each year and you just feel the whole intensity in the air. It’s like a state basketball tournament.”

Gasevic, the first-place winner will go on to the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. at the end of May.