Andalusia seventh grader advances at National Spelling Bee

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (Gray DC) -- Vasodilation -- it means “widening of the lumen of blood vessels.” It also means Taj Patel of Andalusia is advancing to the Round Three of the National Spelling Bee.

“As long as I got an easy word, I was happy," said Taj.

Yes, the seventh grader at Straughn Middle School thought the word was easy. After all, he’s been competing in spelling bees since kindergarten.

“The year before kindergarten, I watched the National Spelling Bee, and I thought, 'This is pretty cool.' I was just a baby then, but I said, ‘I want to try this out,'" he said.

Prepping for the bee is a family affair – with his dad, Neil, by his side.

“On weekdays, school days, it’s normally two to three to five hours," Taj explained. "And on weekends, it’s four to six."

So far, it seems to be paying off. Taj spells again on stage, in front of a national TV audience, on Wednesday.