Jeff Lawson visits with Miss Mississippi at the Miss America Pageant

LAS VEGAS, NV (WLOX) - Proud, excited and exhausted is how Miss Mississippi Christine Kozlowski of D'Iberville described her feelings just minutes after the Miss America Pageant ended Saturday night. Jeff Lawson and his wife, Alice, had the privilege to be in the audience at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas to see if our local girl would become the new Miss America.

Christine did win the swimsuit preliminary earlier in the week but did not finish in the top 15 at the national finals Saturday night.

Nevertheless, she made Mississippi proud. No doubt thousand in her home state watched Christine compete on the national telecast, seen on the TLC network.

Christine had nearly 100 friends and family in the audience to cheer her on. They included her mom, dad, little brother and little sister. There were also 13 people from University of Southern Mississippi, where Christine goes to school. That number included USM President Dr. Martha Saunders.

At a reception after the pageant, Christine told Jeff Lawson she felt being in the Miss America pageant was like living a dream. Although she doesn't come home a winner, Mississippi can be proud of Christine Kozlowski. She carried herself with grace charm and beauty. Christine will crown a new Miss Mississippi in July.