Maryland kids were close but couldn’t quite churn out the correct spellings for words including Querflöte and latifondo — words that many adults would struggle with — to advance to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

After all, word panelists spend a year sifting through Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary to put together a word list that will “challenge but not embarrass” competitors, according to the Associated Press. This year 245 elementary- and middle-school-aged spellers joined the competition.

The National Bee began with preliminary rounds on Tuesday, but will conclude with the finals on Thursday. The competition is held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland’s National Harbor. The finals air tonight at 8 p.m. on ION.

The contest began earlier this week with seven spellers from Maryland who won regional bees across the state. By the semifinals, only Quint Karlsson, 12, who attends Crofton Middle School in Anne Arundel County, and Navya Dwivedi, 13, who attends Clarksville Middle School in Howard County, remained in the race.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Karlsson was bummed when he misspelled the word “apar,” but said he’ll continuing studying in the off-season to prepare even more in the future.

“I would like to come and compete back next year,” Karlsson said, alongside his mother, Shelley, who shared that when her son reached the quarterfinals, his family was already “super impressed” given that this was Quint’s first National Bee.

“I think he’s kind of having a moment of like, ‘Oh, but I could have done even better,’ even though we are so over-the-top impressed with how amazing he did,” she added.

Dwivedi was knocked out by the word Querflöte.

Su Hliang, 13, a student at Saint Peter’s School in Montgomery County, and Conor Keightley-Reinhardt, 14, a student at Crisfield High School and Academy in Somerset County, both made it through the preliminaries before being knocked out by the words latifondo and Molokai, respectively.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Chase Camuti, 11, a student at Glade Elementary School in Frederick County; Aidan Cobos, 13, a student at Milton M. Somers Middle School in Charles County; and June Keatley, 10, a student at St. James Academy in Baltimore County, also participated in the national contest.

Eight spellers remain for the final round of the competition tonight. The champion will take home the Scripps Cup trophy as well as $50,000 and other prizes.