Here's a look at how the students from Kansas and Missouri fared in the second and third round of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Those rounds were held Wednesday. The field of more than 280 was whittled down to just 42 by the end of the day.
Ten of 11 spellers from the Sunflower and Show-Me states got both of their words right, but only one speller from each state advanced into Thursday's semifinals.
Vanya Shivashankar, from Olathe, Kan., and Gokul Venkatachalam, of suburban St. Louis, will be competing live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. CT on Thursday.
Kansas spellers were first to go on Wednesday.
First up from the Sunflower State was Speller No. 90, Sterling Holland. He spelled 'diphthong' correctly to advance. In the third round, however, he misspelled 'febrility' and was knocked out of the competition. The 12-year-old is a sixth-grader at Basehor-Linwood Middle School in Bonner Springs.
Shivashankar, whose sister won the 2009 Bee, was up next and spelled 'intaglio' correctly to move on to the third round. In the third round, Vanya correctly spelled 'horologium.' This is the third trip to the Bee for the 11-year-old sixth-grader at California Trail Middle School in Olathe.
Speller No. 92, 11-year-old Gracie Schroeder spelled 'narcissistic' correctly. In the third round, she spelled 'illusoriness' correctly. She is a fifth-grader at Salina Christian Academy in Salina.
Missouri spellers also fared well in the preliminary rounds on Wednesday.
Speller No. 135, Faaris Khan, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Ann Hawkins Gentry Middle School in Columbia, spelled ‘bhalu' correctly. Faaris spelled 'setigerous' correctly in the third round.
Next up was Evan Filer, an 11-year-old fifth-grader at McEowen Elentary School in Harrisonville. Evan, Speller No. 136, spelled ‘cachet' right to advance out of the second round. He also spelled 'prevaricate' correctly on Wednesday.
After Evan came 12-year-old Meah Wilburn, of Lee's Summit. The sixth-grader at Highland Park Elementary School advanced when she spelled ‘mihrab' correctly. In the third round, Meah spelled 'Bauhaus' correctly.
Speller No. 138 was Jade Samanta, of Cape Girardeau. The 12-year-old seventh-grader at Trinity Luterhan School advanced when he was able to correctly spell ‘opossum.' Jade spelled 'Pembroke' in the third round correctly.
The next speller was No. 139, Joshua Sturgill, a sixth-grader at Sedalia Middle School. The 12-year-old moved on to the next round with the right spelling of 'fantoccini.' Also on Wednesday, Joshua correctly spelled 'aggrandizement.'
Ethan Talbot, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Lebanon Junior High School, spelled ‘durwan' correctly to move on out of the second round. In the third round, Ethan spelled 'debenture' correctly.
After Ethan came Maryville Middle School sixth-grader Sakif Islam. The 12-year-old advanced when he was able to spell ‘chassis.' He also spelled 'jambeau' correctly in the third round.
The final speller from Missouri was 12-year-old Venkatachalam. The sixth-grader at Parkway West Middle School in Chesterfield advanced out of the second round by spelling ‘accommodate.' In the third round, Gokul made the Show-Me State a perfect 16-for-16 on the day when he spelled 'sylph' correctly.
The list of 42 seminfalists was picked by using the scores from a previous computer test.