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U-Md. grad student crowned Miss Maryland

June 17, 2000|By MEG H. PARTINGTON

Miss Bethesda, Sonia Maria Amir, was crowned Miss Maryland 2000 Saturday night at The Maryland Theatre.

Amir, a 24-year-old graduate student at University of Maryland, University College in College Park, performed Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" on the piano. She is the daughter of Javed and Clemencia Amir of Beltsville, Md.

"Peer pressure is a very strong force in our society. Our youth need positive peer pressure," Amir said during the informal interview portion of the pageant while describing her platform.

She received her crown at the end of the 65th anniversary Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant from Miss Maryland 1999, Keri Schrader.

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For winning the title Saturday night, Amir received a $13,000 cash scholarship and the chance to participate in the nationally televised Miss America Pageant in October in Atlantic City, N.J.

Twenty-six contestants competed for the crown.

First runner-up was Miss College Park, Deborah Chien, a 23-year-old graduate of Peabody Conservatory and Johns Hopkins University. The daughter of Chia-Ling and Christina Chien of Lutherville, Md., she performed Pablo de Sarasate's "Ziguerweisen" on the violin during the talent competition.

She received a $5,500 scholarship.

The second runner-up award went to Miss Prince George's County, Felicia Michelle Curry, the daughter of Brenda and Clarence Curry Jr. of College Park, Md. She is a 21-year-old graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.

During the talent competition, she sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from the musical "Dreamgirls." She received a $4,000 scholarship.

Third runner-up was Miss Free State, Camille Jeane Lewis, a 20-year-old senior at University of Maryland, College Park. The daughter of Leon and Pamela Lewis of Silver Spring, Md., she performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor during the talent competition.

She received a $3,000 scholarship.

The fourth runner-up award went to Miss Howard County, Courtney Allison Thomas, the daughter of Randy and Sherry Rush of Cumberland, Md. She is a 24-year-old graduate student at Frostburg State University.

During the talent competition, she performed a medley of "Shenandoah," "Dueling Banjos" and "Orange Blossom Special" on the hammered dulcimer. She received a $2,500 scholarship.

In the preliminary competitions Thursday and Friday nights, Chien and Lewis won the talent awards. The preliminary swimsuit competitions were won by Amir and Miss Northern Chesapeake, Tamika Johnson.

Miss Anne Arundel County, Toni Alicia Rickard of Hagerstown, was among the 10 semifinalists.

Hagerstown boasts two Miss Maryland winners, Karissa Brooke Jones Horowicz in 1994 and Robin Harmon in 1981.

The pageant was hosted by Miss America 1987, Kellye Cash.

Performers included Schrader, Cash, Miss Maryland 1990, Kimberly Grimm Weimer, and Miss Maryland 1991, Debra Renea Fries.

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