Maryland's Montgomery Blair High School claimed bragging rights over its cross-river rival, Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, when national semifinalists were announced yesterday in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Blair had 13 semifinalists and tied for tops in the country (with Midwood High in Brooklyn, N.Y.), while Jefferson had 12.

Maryland, Virginia and the District had 35 of 300 students named Intel semifinalists from 1,517 applicants nationwide. Formerly known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, the competition is in its 59th year and is the oldest and most prestigious of its kind in the United States.

Last year, Blair placed six students in Intel's final round of 40, while Jefferson and Chantilly High, also in Fairfax, had one apiece. This year's semifinalists and their schools will each receive $1,000; the top 40 students, to be announced this month, will compete for more than $400,000 in scholarships in Washington in March.

Local semifinalists:

The District--St. Anselm's: Sebastian Mathews; Sidwell Friends: Patrick Kelly.

Maryland--Frederick: Elaine Gee; Montgomery Blair: Elizabeth Epstein, Michael Fan, Charitha Gowda, Steven Helfand, Susan Huang, Alex Khripin, Jennifer Lin, Stacey Roshan, Ashutosh Sahu, Eric Schewe, Jonathan Simon, Karoly Viragh, Jia Xu; Quince Orchard: Joshua Levy; River Hill: Katherine Mowery; Walt Whitman: Perri Pleeter; Thomas S. Wootton: Jonah Blasiak.

Virginia--Osbourn Park: Tiffany Nichols; Thomas Jefferson: Peter Anthony, Anita Bakshi, Elizabeth Blair, Hilary Glidden, Alexander Gondarenko, Susan Ji, Sara Jones, John Kulesza, Karolina Maciag, Giridhar Nandipati, Ajita Shukla, Vinay Tripathi. Elsewhere in Virginia--Blacksburg: Nisha Nagarkatti; Richmond: Abhishek Gupta.