Copper Creek Elementary School fourth-grader Michael Chen proved he can spell with the best of those in the county and is on his way to the state spelling bee.

Chen was runner-up in the Feb. 19 Pima County Spelling Bee, earning him a spot in the Arizona Spelling Bee along with county champion Christopher O'Connor, 13, from St. Cyril School. The state bee is at 1 p.m. March 23 at Arizona State University Downtown, 555 N. Central Ave., Sixth Floor. At that competition, 27 students will compete for the right to represent the state in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.