MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two Minnesota students have advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland.

Fourteen-year-old Anja Beth Swoap from Edina and 13-year-old Connor Gunsbury from Nisswa are among 41 youngsters advancing to Thursday morning's semifinals.

Swoap spelled "calvities" and "mesmerize" correctly during Wednesday's oral rounds. Gunsbury correctly spelled "ineradicable" and "sclerosis".

Swoap participated in the 2009 and 2010 spelling bees. She tied for 20th place last year.

Three other Minnesota students were competing but did not advance to the semis: 14-year-old Alyssa Everson from Duluth, 12-year-old Antony Joseph from Fairmont and 14-year-old Radhika Lakshmi Edpuganti from La Crescent.

The finals will be held Thursday night. The winner receives more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.