MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Five Minnesota students are competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland.

They are 14-year-old Alyssa Everson from Duluth, 14-year-old Anja Beth Swoap from Edina, 12-year-old Antony Joseph from Fairmont, 14-year-old Radhika Lakshmi Edpuganti from La Crescent and 13-year-old Connor Gunsbury from Brainerd.

They are among 275 students competing from around the world.

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

The first round started Tuesday with a written test, with oral rounds Wednesday. The semifinals are Thursday morning.

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

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)