WESTFIELD, NJ – After correctly spelling “phrasing,” fifth grader Katie O’Connor of McKinley Elementary School was crowned champion of the 30th Annual Junior Woman’s Club of Westfield Spelling Bee Thursday night.

“At first I thought ‘F’ and then I was like, ‘No! No, Katie,” the first place finisher said.

Joining Katie in a trip to the district spelling bee next month are Jacob Blaustein and Michael Singh, two fourth graders who finished in second and third place respectively.

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The three elementary students outlasted 17 other contestants, successfully navigating through words like, “wreck,” “addition” and “congratulations.”

Debbie Solomon, a local author who has written several books children’s books including “Pedro’s Decision,” helped serve as a guest judge and award prizes and certificates to the winners.

The New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs’ District Spelling Bee will take place on Feb. 20 in Summit, NJ.