WASHINGTON – Despite correctly spelling two words in front of the large crowd gathered for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Lily Jordan will not move on to the semifinals. The 13-year-old Cape Elizabeth native was done in by a first-round written performance in which she answered 18 of 25 words correctly.

“I didn’t think I was in after I saw my round one results,” Lily said. Two words that gave her trouble were pusillanimous and sabbatical. Lily correctly spelled taipan and vacatur in front of the audience.

The 48 semifinalists were announced today at the completion of three preliminary rounds. Each contestant was put through the written test for round one and the two subsequent rounds in front of the live audience.

All three rounds are combined for an individual score, and only those scoring above 27 advanced to the semifinals.

“It’s been a fantastic experience,” said Nancy Jordan, Lily’s mother. “Just being here was Lily’s main goal. It’s been terrific.”

Lily is one of 225 children who did not make the semifinals. Some contestants came from across oceans to compete. Darren Kwame Sackey, 13, of Accra, Ghana, had the support of a large cheering section but did not advance.

Other international contestants will move on, including Tom Winter of Christchurch, New Zealand. “I am pretty excited, pretty surprised,” Winter said after learning he made the semifinals.  This is Winter’s first trip to the United States, and he is impressed.  “I am really enjoying the States, the people are so nice and the streets are so clean.”

Lily is also enjoying her trip to Washington. Her family is staying in town until Sunday, and there is an awards banquet Saturday night followed by a party for all the contestants.

Even with the hectic schedule of the Spelling Bee, the Jordans have done their best to see much of Washington. Of tours of the White House and Nationals Park, Lily said, “It was really, really fun. I liked the Blue Room a lot.”

The announcement of the semifinalists brings elation for some but a somber moment for many participants. “Each year I make this announcement I quiver like a leaf,” Spelling Bee Director Paige Kimble said.

Lily said the defeat will not slow her down. She still has her sights on a multi-faceted future career as a professional softball player, author, and educational reformer. Her potential educational reforms include a significant decrease in assigned homework.

“It was really fun meeting all these people and spelling on the stage,” Lily said. With one year remaining of eligibility, Lily may have one more spelling bee to attend.

“I’m going to try and make the semifinals next year.”