Super spelling sisters in New Jersey, one going to national spelling bee

ByCeFaan Kim, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Super spelling sisters in NJ, one going to national bee
CeFaan Kim reports from North Bergen.

NORTH BERGEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- This is a sibling rivalry taken to the next level.

11-year old Naomi Castellanos and her 10-year-old sister Zadie are both amazing spellers.

Naomi, a 6th grader, won her local spelling in February, qualifying to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

She's about to be big time!

And you know who she beat to nab first place?

Little sister Zadie, who came in second.

"I was kind of sad that she didn't win, but I still happy that I was," Naomi said.

So what made Naomi nervous?

"Being there on that stage with all of those people," Naomi said.

The sisters attend Franklin Elementary School in North Bergen.

And 4th grader Zadie, she was nervous for a different reason.

"It was pretty scary. I knew I was competing against her," Zadie said.

Let's not forget mom and dad, they were anxious too.

"What is going to happen if my first one beats the oldest, or what is going to happen if my oldest breaks my little ones feelings. But it didn't happen. They were both very supportive," said Tammy Castellanos, the girls' mother.

"One of them is going to take the trophy home. One of them is going to do it," said Ariel Castellanos, the girls' father.

OK, maybe dad wasn't sweating it so much.

He saw it as a win-win.

Here's another win, these sisters, they love this stuff.

They study a minimum three hours a day!

"So here Greek. There's Greek rules and Greek roots at the bottom. Then here is German. Then we have Italian right here. Then here is French, I'm still not done with that one," Naomi said.

Did you follow that?

Not sure if we should be wishing Naomi luck next week in National Harbor, Maryland, or telling her competitors that there's always next year.

Speaking of next year, don't be surprised if Zadie turns her silver into gold in 2018.

"In the future I'll need this knowledge. So why not know it now?" Zadie said.