Maria Montgomery of Danville, a 2007 Boyle County High School graduate, was crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2009 on Friday at Murray State University and will compete in the Miss USA 2009 pageant in April in Las Vegas.
Miss USA 2009, The 58th Miss USA pageant will take place April 19 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and will be televised on NBC.
The 19-year-old sophomore at Eastern Kentucky University called the victory "a huge blessing from God" and the "most exciting thing that has happened to me."
Montgomery has competed in beauty pageants since she was 14 and was named Miss Kentucky Festival Grand Supreme on Nov. 23 at the Miss Kentucky Festival pageant. Previous achievements include being named 2007 Miss Boyle County Fair and 2008 Miss Kentucky County Fair, and winning the Garrard County Rural Heritage Festival pageant in August.
Crowning her is last year's winner, Alysha Harris, and last year's
Miss Kentucky Teen USA winner, Shannen Reil, is pictured at right.
Miss Kentucky USA contestants age 18 to 26 competed in what Connie Clark Harrison, executive state director of the pageant, called a "highly competitive contest."
Harrison, who has been the director for eight years, said she is "very excited Maria won. We are sending a very worthy representative to the Miss USA pageant who we think can bring home the crown."
Contestants were judged on interview skills, an onstage interview, swimsuit and evening wear. The Miss USA pageant will also include a talent section.
Montgomery said winning the pageant is "a miracle and will open a lot of doors for me.
She said she "prepared in all sorts of ways - a whole lot of working out as well as emotionally and spiritually."
"I couldn't have done this without the help of my sponsors, friends, family and Kendra Reece, my roommate at Eastern Kentucky," she added.
Reece, who is from Lancaster, helped Montgomery with makeup.
Montgomery is the daughter of Gary and Susan Montgomery and is studying communication disorders to be a speech pathologist. She has an older sister, Tracy, 22, and a younger brother, Max, 13.
courtesy to amnews.com / murrayledger.com
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