At Schenectady’s famed Proctors Theater, more than 130 of the best local wordsmiths challenged each other in the 38th annual BOCES Capital Region Spelling Bee.

Each of the contestants qualifying for Tuesday’s event won spelling bees at their individual school.

The students are dedicated, so it's no wonder so many spellers advance, even as the contest goes deeper into the dictionary. 

"One of the hard words I did get was 'hydrargyrum,' and that was a tricky word," said Keya Mehta.

The champion was Kingston Czajkowski, an 11-year-old from Cairo-Durham, who will now head to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.