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Pageantry glows at Maryland Theatre

June 20, 1998

By KATE COLEMAN

Staff Writer

Miss Baltimore, Navasha Boxley, took top prize in the talent competition, and Miss Antietam, Samantha Marie Spates, won the swimsuit award Friday night during the second round of Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant preliminaries at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Boxley, of Baltimore, sang Dizzy Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia," complete with scat singing. She received a $400 scholarship and a plaque for her preliminary talent award. A 23-year-old graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, she is the daughter of Alima L.A. Aziz and Ray C. Boxley.

Spates, 21, a resident of Walkersville, Md., wore an orange swimsuit. She won the talent competition in Thursday night's preliminaries. She received a $125 scholarship and a plaque for her win in the swimsuit competition. A sophomore studying physical education at Towson University, she is the daughter of Wayne and Linda Spates.

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Boxley and Spates 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.

Earlier in the week, each contestant had a personal interview with a panel of judges. The interview counts for 30 percent of the score.

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. Miss Tidewater Heather Metzger took top prize in the swimsuit category.

The awards were presented before an audience of about 900, according to Ed Dorsey, member of the Miss Maryland Scholarship Organization executive board.

Miss America 1994 Kimberly Aiken of South Carolina hosted this year's pageant, which is marking its 27th year in Hagerstown.

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.

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

Tickets are $25 plus a $1 service charge per ticket. The theater box office opens at 6:30 p.m.

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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