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Published June 02, 2011, 08:04 AM

2 Minn. students advance to spelling bee semis

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

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

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

Swoap spelled "calvities" (kal-VISH'-ih-EEZ') and "mesmerize" correctly during Wednesday's oral rounds. Gunsbury correctly spelled "ineradicable" and "sclerosis" (sklih-ROH'-sis).

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 (RAH'-dhee-kah LAHK'-shmee EED'-eh-POO'-gahn-tee) from La Crescent.

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

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