Toiling for the crown

Local Miss Maryland contestants say stress is worth the outcome

Local Miss Maryland contestants say stress is worth the outcome

June 21, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

It's one of the few instances when shopping for dresses, shoes and accessories is a source of stress, explained 19-year-old Hagerstown Community College student Victoria Hume, a contestant in this year's Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant.

But a little bit of stress now might be well worth the toil later, according to Hume and other local residents competing in the upcoming Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant. That is, if one of them walks away with the big crown - Miss Maryland. They'll also have a chance to represent the state at the 2010 Miss America competition.

"I'm not really nervous, just more excited," Hume said.

Today marks the beginning of what is known as "pageant week." It's when everything coming down to the details - being in shape, having the right dress, nailing your talent routine, knowing the ins and outs of your platform and, ultimately, being able to prove to judges why you are the complete package, hence deserving to be the next Miss Maryland.


A new winner will be crowned Saturday, June 27, at The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.

Hume, the reigning Miss Mason Dixon, is one of several contestants from Washington County. Other local contestants include Miss Washington County Whitney Colombo, 19, who lives east of Hagerstown; Miss Western Maryland Mary King, 22, of Hagerstown; Miss Deep Creek Lake Lindsay Karroll, 19, of Smithsburg; and Miss Frostburg Dance Jenna Smith, 23, of Boonsboro.

Miss Maryland is a preliminary of Miss America pageant, part of the Miss America Organization. Twenty women are competing for the chance to represent the state at the next Miss America pageant.

Reigning Miss Maryland Louise Schlegel, 20, of Silver Spring, Md., competed at the most recent Miss America competition, held earlier this year. But it was Katie Stam, a 22-year-old from Indiana, who won the national title.

Colombo is a veteran Miss Maryland contestant, having competed at as Miss Cumberland and Miss Washington County in prior years.

"I think my favorite moment is when that curtain first goes up," Colombo said. "It's such an adrenaline rush."

This is Smith's first-ever trip to Miss Maryland, in fact, her Miss Frostburg Dance title was her first pageant ever. She was encouraged to enter by her friends.

She said it can be stressful juggling work, an internship and getting ready for the pageant, but she said she's "really excited" about competing.

Since being crowned for her title, Smith said it's been "an amazing experience" and said she's really matured since representing her current title. She said being in the pageant has been "a confidence booster."

King was a 2006 Miss Alabama contestant as Miss Troy University. In 2004, King was the Connecticut state winner for America's Junior Miss scholarship pageant.

"Believe it or not, I was not a huge pageant girl," King said with a laugh.

When she competed for Junior Miss, she said she was reserved. She also needed help to pay her tuition bill at NYU. In fact, it was a scholarship pageant that helped to land her a full ride to Troy University in Alabama where she earned her degree in broadcast journalism.

She said scholarship pageants gave her self-confidence. "(They) really prepared me for life in general," she said.

This is Karroll's first year ever entering a state competition. Hume has competed several regional pageants, including the Miss Maryland USA - a preliminary for Miss USA.

When asked why they chose to compete in pageants, contestants said they do it for the scholarship opportunities and for the chance to bring more exposure to their community service efforts.

King and Colombo's platforms are related to promoting physical fitness and activity in young people. Hume's platform promotes breast cancer awareness. Karroll's platform is to encourage self-esteem through helping others. And Smith's platform promotes abstinence.

But their efforts are more effective, contestants say, with a sash and crown.

"I've noticed that since I got my title, it's opened up so many doors for me," Karroll said.

-- Lifestyle assistant editor Crystal Schelle contributed to this story.

If you go ...

WHAT: 2009 Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant

WHEN: Final night of competition, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 27. Prelims are scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, and Thursday, June 25.

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown.

COST: $25 for preliminaries; $45 for pageant night

MORE: To learn more about the Miss Maryland Scholarship Organization, go to For tickets, go to The Maryland Theatre's Web site,

Pageant highlights

Sunday, June 21

2 p.m. - Miss Maryland sign-in ceremony at Valley Mall

Monday, June 22

Noon - Miss contestants lunch at Red Lobster, 1681 Wesel Blvd.

5 p.m. - Miss contestants dine at Texas Roadhouse, 120 S. Edgewood Drive, Hagerstown.

Tuesday, June 23

8 a.m. - Miss contestants have breakfast at Roy Rogers, 100 N. Burhans Blvd.

Noon - Miss contestants lunch at Arby's, 17794 Garland Groh Blvd.

5 p.m. - Miss contestants have dinner at McDonald's, Sharpsburg Pike

Wednesday, June 24

Noon - Miss contestants lunch at Dimensions, 132 Old National Pike south of Funkstown

8 p.m. - Miss Maryland preliminary competition at The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown.

Thursday, June 25

11 a.m. - Miss contestants lunch at Burger King, 503 Dual Highway

8 p.m. - Miss Maryland preliminary competition at The Maryland Theatre.

Friday, June 26

8 p.m. - Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen Pageant at The Maryland Theatre.

Saturday, June 27

11:30 a.m. - Miss contestants lunch at Cafe Del Sol, 1481 Salem Ave.

4:30 p.m. - Miss and teen contestants dine at Buffalo Wild Wings, 230 Railway Lane

8 p.m. - Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant finals at The Maryland Theatre.

11 p.m. - Miss Maryland and Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen Coronation Gala for ticket holders.

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