HARLINGEN — “D-E-H-Y-D-R-A-T-I-O-N.”

Krishna Miana, 13, spoke each letter clearly for the judges, making her the winner of the Rio Grande Valley 32nd Annual Regional Spelling Bee.

“I feel really proud of myself,” said Krishna, an eighth grader at Ringgold Middle School in Rio Grande City.

“I feel especially grateful to my mom because she was the one that pushed me to study every day,” she said.

A total of 47 spellers from throughout the Rio Grande Valley competed in Harlingen Saturday in the bee sponsored by AIM Media Texas, which owns the Valley Morning Star, The Brownsville Herald, and The Monitor. Scripps National Spelling Bee also sponsored the event, which will send Krishna to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals in Washington, D.C., in May.

“I am really excited,” she said of her upcoming trip to the nation’s capital.

Fellow Rio Grande City resident Kamilah Guerra, 13, came in a close second.

“I feel pretty great that I had this opportunity to get to compete here and win this trophy,” said Kamilah, an eighth grader at Veterans Middle School.

She’d competed in spelling bees since the sixth grade and this was her last shot. She’d honed her study habits throughout the arduous process until she had it down to a science.

“What I usually do, as soon as I get to the library I look through as many words as I can and I stay as late as I can,” she said.

Filomena Saenz coached both Krishna and Kamilah as they prepared for the bee.

“I have been working with Kamilah since she was in sixth grade,” Saenz said with pride.

“She really put a lot of work into it,” Saenz said.

Krishna’s mother Myla Miana had a festive air about her as she spoke of her success.

“I am so proud and happy for her,” she said. “I always tell her just do God’s will and do your best.”