UPPER MONTCLAIR, NJ — It took 11 rounds, but Summit's Keilah Torrillo, a fifth grader at Jefferson Elementary School in Summit, emerged victorious in the Liberty District Spelling Bee, securing a spot in next month's state spelling bee.

Torriollo took the crown by correctly spelling the word 'milling'. Emily Gao, a fifth grader at Washington Elementary School in Westfield, finished in second place, Saffia Quali, a fourth grader from Kearny took third, and Claire Qin, a fourth grade student at McKinley Elementary School in Westfield, took home the honorable mention.

Torrillo and the other two top finalists will go on to compete against fourth and fifth graders from towns throughout New Jersey on Saturday, March 4 (snow date of March 11) in the State Spelling Bee at the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs’ headquarters on the campus of Douglas Residential College at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

The Liberty District Spelling Bee was hosted by the Woman’s Club of Upper Montclair. Gao and Qin were sponsored by the Junior Woman’s Club of Westfield.