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Theater hosting pageant hopefuls

June 19, 1998|By TERI JOHNSON

by RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

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Miss MD contestantsTheater hosting pageant hopefuls

Miss Antietam, Samantha Marie Spates, won the talent competition and Miss Tidewater, Heather Metzger, received the swimsuit award Thursday night before an audience of about 800 as the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant preliminaries began at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Spates, of Walkersville, Md., received a $400 scholarship and a plaque for winning the preliminary talent award.

Spates, 21, performed a lyrical dance to "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion.

A sophomore studying physical education at Towson University, she is the daughter of Wayne and Linda Spates.

Metzger, 21, of Millersville, Md., wore a yellow swimsuit. She received a $125 scholarship and a plaque for her win in the swimsuit competition.

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A senior studying hearing and speech sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, she is the daughter of Bobbie Metzger.

Spates and Metzger are among 22 young women competing for the Miss Maryland title and the right to represent the state in the nationally televised Miss America Pageant Sept. 19 in Atlantic City, N.J.

On Thursday night, half of the contestants participated in the talent competition, which counts for 40 percent of the score. The other half participated in swimsuit and evening gown competitions, which each make up 15 percent of the score.

Before the onstage competition, each contestant had a personal interview with a panel of judges. The interview counts for 30 percent of the score.

The pageant was hosted by Miss America 1994, Kimberly Aiken of South Carolina.

The second round of preliminary competition begins tonight at 8 at The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St.

Tickets are $15 for tonight and $25 for Saturday night, with a $1 service charge per ticket, and are available by calling the theater box office at 301-790-2000.

This is the 27th year Hagerstown has hosted the pageant.

The theme for this year's production is "There's No Stopping Us," featuring performances by Miss Maryland, Jaime Fox, the Miss Maryland Dancers and former Miss Marylands.

Fox dedicated Thursday night's performance to veterans.

During the final night of competition Saturday, which begins at 8 p.m., the 10 semifinalists will be announced. The field will be narrowed to five finalists, who will participate in an onstage interview. From there, the new Miss Maryland will be chosen.

Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant awards for 1998 will total $34,500 in cash scholarships and $2,805,650 in in-kind scholarship opportunities.

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