MEDFORD, Ore. -- St. Mary's eighth grader, Eli Haynes, will compete in the Oregon National Geographic State Bee.
Eli has been working towards this goal for four years. Last year he came in second place, and was determined to do better this time around.
"I studied a little bit harder this year and it helped me get the first place in the school," says Eli Haynes.
Eli told NewsWatch12 understanding geography helps give him context with other subjects.
"When I'm reading stuff or looking at things I like to know where stuff is. So that's pretty cool," says Haynes.
Eli will be going up against 100 of the top-scoring students in Oregon, and he says he's not nervous.
"If anything sets me apart I think it will be using kind of everything that i've learned in every class to kind of draw it towards geography," says Haynes.
The Oregon National Geographic State Bee is the second level of the national competition. The national winners will get college scholarships ranging from 10 to 50 thousand dollars.
"It feels pretty good because I have interests in so many things, so it just feels good to have accomplished this," says Haynes.
The state bee will be held on April 6, 2018 at Western Oregon University.