SARTELL - A Sartell 8th grader has the distinction of representing all of  Minnesota in the 2012 National Geographic Bee in Washington D.C.

Gopi Ramanathan is hopping on a plane today in advance of the contest tomorrow, where 53 other fourth through eighth graders from around the country will compete for the national title and three scholarships totaling $50,000.

This isn't Ramanathan's first rodeo. He was the state champion in 2010.

Ramanathan says he's been fascinated with maps since he was in 1st grade. His family is from Sri Lanka, a fact that has made him particularly interested in the category of human geography.

Ramanathan is excited for the competition - and so are the rest of the students at Sartell Middle School.

The final round of the Bee will air live on the National Geographic channel on Thursday from 8-10 p.m. and will be hosted by Jeopardy's Alex Trebek.

For more, check out Ramanathan's video on the National Geographic Bee website.