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Miss Western Md. top talent

June 29, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

By KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

Miss Western Maryland Nikki Gouker received the Artistic Expression in Talent award Friday in the second night of preliminary competition for the Miss Maryland title at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Miss Germantown Felicia Curry received the Physical Fitness in Swimsuit award.

Gouker performed a crowd-pleasing tap dance to "Footloose."

The daughter of Kelly and Sandi Gouker of Middletown, Md., Gouker is a graduate of Shepherd College.

For winning the preliminary talent award, Gouker, 22, received a $600 scholarship, according to the Miss Maryland 2002 program.

A senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, Curry is the daughter of Clarence and Brenda Curry of Parsippany, N.J.

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Curry, 23, wore an orange two-piece swimsuit and received a $150 scholarship. She was the talent winner in Thursday's preliminary competition.

Miss Prince George's County Marliss Amiea Ladson, 23, a graduate of Jacksonville University, won the $100 Presence and Poise in Evening Wear award.

Ladson is the daughter of William and Glendale Ladson of Glenarden, Md.

Miss Howard County Laura Kelley, 19, a junior at Montgomery College, won the $500 Newcomer Preliminary Talent award. She sang "When I Look at You" from "The Scarlet Pimpernel."

She is the daughter of Mike and Ann Kelley of Olney, Md.

The four preliminary winners are among 26 contestants vying for the Miss Maryland title and the right to represent the state in the nationally televised Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in September.

On Thursday and Friday nights, half of the contestants participated in talent competition, which counts for 30 percent of the score. The other half participated in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, each of which makes up 10 percent of the score.

Miss Cumberland Katrina Emerick received the swimsuit award in Thursday's preliminary competition.

Before the onstage competition, each contestant had a personal interview with a panel of judges. The Presentation and Community Achievement in Interview phase of the competition counts for 40 percent of the score.

Ten finalists will compete in the final round of competition, which will get under way tonight at 8 at The Maryland Theatre.

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