Miss West Central and Miss Mississippi State win preliminaries - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Miss West Central and Miss Mississippi State win preliminaries

The theme of the 55th Miss Mississippi Pageant is once upon a dream. 42 contestants are hoping their dream of becoming the next Miss Mississippi will come true.

Each year contestants are divided into three groups. They compete in evening wear, talent and swimwear. Wednesday night when the judges tallied their scores. The winners were announced on stage.

In swimwear, Miss West Central Mississippi Breanne Ponder who was Miss Mississippi USA in 2010. This is her first year to compete at Miss Mississippi.

"The key is if you eat more, work out more, that's my motto" said Ponder. "Because I'm not going to deprive myself of something I want. If I want a piece of cake, I'll just run an extra mile."

In talent, a repeat win for Miss Mississippi State Stephanie Stanford.

Singing "Don't Rain on My Parade," she won a $300 scholarship. She was fourth runner up to Miss Mississippi last year.

"One word, "Exhilarating!" Just life" said Stanford. "I felt so much energy and it just makes me want to bounce right off the stage."

Preliminary competition continues Thursday night. The contestants say preliminary wins give you bragging rights but no guarantee of making the cut of the Top 10 Saturday night when the new Miss Mississippi will be chosen.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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