OXON HILL, Md. (AP/WCCO) — The semifinals of the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee are underway, with 49 of the nation’s top young spellers competing for more than $37,000 in cash and prizes.

Minnesota’s Maxwell Meyer, from Minnetonka Middle School East, spelled every word he was given correctly, but was ultimately eliminated at the conclusion of the semifinals. That’s because, for the first time, the bee ranked the spellers based on their performance on two spelling and vocabulary tests.

READ MORE: Next Weather: Slightly-Warmer Wednesday, Severe Storms Possible Thursday

Christine Farnberg from Holy Spirit School in Rochester was eliminated earlier in the semifinals after spelling “Syrette” incorrectly.

Among the Minnesotans in the preliminary rounds were Cade Klimek from Chisholm High School, Briana Joseph from St. John Vianney School in Fairmont, and Ammy Lin from Forestview Middle School in Baxter.

READ MORE: VeeCon To Brings Thousands, Including Some Big Celebs, To Downtown Minneapolis

The semifinalists include three who made the finals last year. Three siblings of past champions also made it. Thirteen-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, is trying for the fifth and final time to equal the accomplishment of her sister, the 2009 winner. Thirteen-year-old Dev Jaiswal of Louisville, Mississippi, is the top-ranked speller. Vanya is tied for fifth. Last year’s third-place finisher, Gokul Venkatachalam, is tied for seventh.

The spellers will compete Thursday night for more than $37,000 in cash and prizes.

MORE NEWS: What Are The Benefits Of Ramp Meters?

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)