WASHINGTON, D.C. — The competition was tough today for Maine’s representative to the National Poetry Out Loud Contest at the historic Lincoln Theatre.

Lulu Hawkes, a junior at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland, wowed the judges when she won the state poetry-reciting championship in March.

Hawkes reports that she didn’t advance in the national semifinals this morning, when three students from other Northeastern states were chosen to compete in the finals tomorrow night.

“There was a lot of competition,” she said in a telephone interview. “It was really tough. But the students who were chosen were really good. I’m proud of them.”

Hawkes said she lost points for using too much body language in the poetry-reciting competition.

“They were looking for something more formal and rigid,” she said.

Hawkes, who lives in Gorham, said she plans to stay in the Capital through Saturday evening to watch the final competition.