January 16, 2011 in Nation/World

Nebraskan is state’s first Miss America

Associated Press

(Full-size photo)

LAS VEGAS – A 17-year-old aspiring politician from Nebraska captured the Miss America crown on Saturday after beating 52 other young women from across the United States.

Teresa Scanlan won a $50,000 scholarship and a yearlong run with the crown at the competition at the Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas, giving the Cornhusker State its first win at the pageant.

Pageant officials said she was the youngest Miss America since the pageant’s first competition in 1921, when Margaret Gorman of the District of Columbia won at age 15. But the organization’s website listed at least two other young women who were younger than Scanlan when they won: Marian Bergeron of Connecticut, who was 15  1/2 when she won in 1933, and California’s Rosemary LaPlanche, who was 16 in 1940 and later found to be ineligible because of age limits implemented two years before.

Miss Arkansas Alyse Eady was first runner-up, while Miss Hawaii Jalee Fuselier placed third.

Scanlan, a recent high school graduate from Gering, plans to study American politics at Patrick Henry College in Virginia after her reign as Miss America.

She hopes to attend law school, become a judge and eventually a politician, according to her pageant biography.

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