MARTINEZ, Ga. (WJBF) – The annual Columbia County School District Spelling bee was held at Stallings Island Middle School.

There was one representative from every elementary and middle school participating in the event, equaling up to 25 kids in total.

The spelling bee was twenty rounds with the winners of the competition getting to compete at region in Eatonton, February 25th.

Parents, family members, and others showed up from around the area to show their support.

2nd runner up went to 5th grader Veleala Pule, representing Cedar Ridge Elementary, and 1st runner up was 5th grader, Sandra Toon, from Euchee Creek Elementary.

The winner of the spelling bee was 8th grader, Sai Lakkimsetti, from Stallings Island Middle.

It’s been a journey for Sai to get to this point. A few years ago he was runner up at the district spelling bee, and then went on to place 3rd in state.

The winning word was Aphids. All three students will go on to compete at the regional bee next month.