Westerville North High School's William "Will" Steele and Mia Stefanelli have qualified as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced on Sept. 13 the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Stefanelli is taking classes at Ohio State University though dual enrollment.

At Westerville North she has been involved in cheerleading and diving, and she has also served as an athletic trainer assistant for football, baseball and football.

Stefanelli said she was diagnosed with narcolepsy before taking the PSAT and she fell asleep during the test.

"National Merit said they could cancel the scores and I could take the SAT," she said. "I got the PSAT back and they (the scores) were all right, but I missed a portion of math. It worked out and I took the SAT."

She said she was excited to see her score -- 1,510 -- on the SAT.

"It made everything worth it," she said.

Stefanelli said she hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon someday, studying pre-med at a college or university to be determined.

Steele said he's glad he qualified as a National Merit semifinalist.

"I tried hard on the test," he said.

Steele is involved on North's cross country team as well as track. He said he took four AP classes last year and he's currently taking one AP class.

"I'm focusing on more personal aspects of my life right now," he said. "I don't breeze through my coursework."

Steele said he loves physics and chemistry as well as history and music.

He said he's undecided about where he will attend college, but he's considering the University of Cincinnati.

As semifinalists, the students now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will receive a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla