By Chris Adams
Sophomore Katy Locklear was crowned Miss UNCP 2009 January 29 at the 57th annual Miss UNCP Scholarship Pageant in the Givens Performing Arts Center at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Locklear, a 19-year-old elementary education major and Lumberton, N.C., native, competed against six contestants in the on-stage interview question, swimsuit, talent and evening gown wear competition.
Locklear won a $1,000 scholarship, free housing for one semester and a $1,000 wardrobe allowance to compete in the Miss North Carolina Pageant this summer.
“I’m going to Miss North Carolina, and I’m so excited,” said Locklear. “I’m thankful to the pageant committee and everyone who helped me get here.”
Locklear’s platform was breast cancer awareness.
“In 2008, 400 men were diagnosed with this disease,” she said in her on-stage interview. “It is important that they (men) get a yearly mammogram as well as women.”
Locklear performed “I am changing” from the musical “Dreamgirls” during the talent competition and seemed to have had a lot of supporters.
Marion Victoria Smith, a junior biology and chemistry major and Ellerbe, N.C., native, was named the first runner-up and voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants. Smith received a $500 scholarship.
Junior Shahnee Haire from Durham, N.C., was second runner-up, receiving a $300 scholarship, and freshman Ashton Young from Garner, N.C., was third runner-up, receiving a $200 scholarship.
Miss North Carolina Amanda Lauren Watson, and Pembroke resident Gary C. Strickland served as the mistress and master of ceremonies and kept the audience entertained.
Miss UNCP 2008 Jamee Atkins Hunt, a Rowland, N.C., native and Miss North Carolina first runner-up, took her final walk as reigning queen and gave her farewell to family and friends.
“I will continue in my efforts to promote my platform ‘Dropout Prevention through ACTIONS: A Commitment to Improve our Nation’s Students” as well as my work with the Children’s Miracle Network,” said Hunt.
“These ladies have worked very hard during this process,” said Frederick Stephens, who serves on the production committee. “I’m proud of them.”
Entertainment was provided by the Miss UNCP 2008 court; Miss UNCP Outstanding Teen Brianna Hunt, who performed “Hero” by Mariah Carey, Miss UNCP Carolina Princess Haley Oxendine, who performed a tap dance routine, and Miss UNCP Outstanding Teen Carolina Princess Shayla Hunt, who danced to “Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer.
Additional entertainment was rendered by the 2008 UNCP “Idol,” Preston Siler, who delivered two acappella selections. Mistress of ceremonies and Miss North Carolina Amanda Watson performed her own rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Earlier Thursday, the contestants were interviewed by the judges, which counted as 25 percent of the total score. The on-stage interview question counted as five percent, the swimsuit competition counted as 15 percent, talent was 35 percent and the evening gown wear counted as 20 percent.
Also competing for the title was sophomore broadcasting major, Alaina Bowden and sophomore biology major, Aylin Nunez, both from Fayetteville, N.C.; and sophomore art education major, Arlene Grady, from Spring Hope, N.C.
Chris Adams is a senior Mass Communication major at UNCP.