Corning, NY (WENY) - Sixty-two students put their spelling skills to the test on Saturday for the annual "Scripps Regional Spelling Bee" held at Corning-Painted Post Middle School. The spelling bee lasted for several hours leading up to local sixth grader, Kris Patel, being crowned the winner. 

"I feel great, it's been amazing," said Patel. "I started spelling since first grade." 

Corning Rotary Club sponsored this year's spelling bee, which has produced two former national champions . Students grades first through eighth from thirty-one different counties have prepared for months for a chance to take on the area's top spellers. But, even though only one will advance, the rest won't walk away empty handed. Each speller received a medal and a gift bag as well as a lesson for the future. 

"The spelling is very good because it enhances their literacy skills and prepares them for future years," said Co-chair of Spelling Bee Committee, Dr. Geraldine Wolfe.

For this years regional champion, he says he's glad his year's of studying have finally paid off. "I feel like all my work paid off," said Patel. 

Kris's next step is going to Washington D.C. to take on the National Spelling Bee title in May.