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Miss Maryland 2004 crowned

June 20, 2004|By CHRIS COPLEY

Miss Gaithersburg Tiffany Jenkins was crowned Miss Maryland 2004 Saturday night at The Maryland Theatre.

The win came in Jenkins' third state-level pageant competition, her second year in the Miss Maryland pageant.

Jenkins was crowned by Miss Maryland 2003 Marina Harrison. With the title, Jenkins wins a $15,000 scholarship and use of a car and a red fox fur coat and hat for a year. She also will represent Maryland in the Miss America pageant in September.

In Jenkins' court of honor were:

-- First runner-up Miss Caroline Summerfest Jessica Diaz, 23, of Cumberland, Md., won a $6,500 scholarship. She will represent Maryland at the National Sweetheart Pageant in Illinois this September. Diaz was also first runner-up in the 2003 Miss Maryland pageant.

-- Second runner-up Miss Allegany County Rachel Ellsworth, 20, of Fort Ashby, W.Va., won a $4,300 scholarship.

-- Third runner-up Miss Burtonsville Kelly George, 22, of Mission Viejo, Calif., won a $3,000 scholarship.

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-- Fourth runner-up Miss Tidewater Heather Molnar, 18, of Parsonsburg, Md., won a $2,500 scholarship.

Immediately after her crowning, a teary-eyed Jenkins was surrounded backstage at The Maryland Theatre by the other contestants.

She said winning the Miss Maryland title felt surreal.

"I'm so happy," she said. "Words cannot describe it."

Jenkins begins a 12-month term as Miss Maryland. She will be a goodwill ambassador to school, civic and government groups within the state throughout her tenure. She also will take her program - promoting the Relay for Life fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society - statewide.

The remaining five finalists that competed in Saturday's night of pageant competition were Miss Western Maryland Tiffany Hawbaker, 24, of Hagerstown; Miss College Park Cortney Ferris, 20, of Phoenix, Md.; Miss Germantown Michelle Orey, 20, of Frederick, Md.; Miss Harford County Vickie Kalasinsky, 20, of Olney, Md.; and Miss Northern Chesapeake Lisa Taylor, 20, of Alexandria, Va.

These five contestants receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The remaining 14 contestants receive a $550 scholarship for competing in the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant 2004.

Eight former Miss Marylands were present in the audience, dating back to Miss Maryland 1949 Jean Crow (Kiser).

Miss Teen Cecil County Elizabeth Andrulewicz, 16, sat in the audience in her crown. She objected to the idea that the pageant program is all about physical appearance.

"It's not just about beauty but interview skills and talent," she said. "I think it's old-fashioned to think it's all about swimsuits and evening gowns."

Jill Welsheimer, executive director of Miss Cecil County and Miss Teen Cecil County, said the Miss Maryland pageant program is about beauty, but not just good looks.

"So many people get the wrong impression," she said. "A small percentage of the scoring is on beauty. The rest is talent and interview. It's not just outer beauty that counts, but inner beauty, too."

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