Westfield's Mira Mehta took home the first place trophy Saturday at the Junior Woman's Club Central Regional Spelling Bee at the Franklin School auditorium in Kearny.
Mehta, a Wilson Elementary School fourth-grader, competed against fourth and fifth graders from Summit, Verona, Arlington, Cranford, Cedar Grove, Milltown, and Hightstown.
"All the kids were good spellers and I'm very happy I won," Mehta said. "I'm looking forward to the next round."
Calm under pressure, Mehta won the top spot at the Westfield Bee, held in late January at Westfield High School, to qualify to advance to the Regional Bee.
Mira's mom, Amisha, said the top-notch speller is readying for the State Bee, which will be held at the New Jersey State Federation of Woman's Clubs Headquarters in New Brunswick on March 9.
How will Mari prepare for the big Bee?
"She will review the list for the next round, provided by the Junior Women's group," said Amisha. "But I think what has really helped her so far is that she loves to read."
Other winners from the Regional Bee include:
Second Place: Grace Cuddihy Cranford
Third Place: Ishika Rai Hightstown
Fourth Place: Nathan Ackerman Hightstown
Fifth Place: Ryan Toomey Cedar Grove
Sixth Place: Isabelle Hunt Cranford
There will be a total of 18 contestants from Southern, Central and Northern New Jersey at the State Bee.
Westfield Patch wishes Mira good luck.