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franklin county times

State Junior Misses begin 46th annual competition

By Staff
PROVING THEIR FITNESS Whitney Underwood, of George County, left, Brittany Fisher, of East Jackson County, and Allie Miller, of Picayune, do a dance during the fitness portion of the 2005 Mississippi Junior Miss program at the Hamasa Temple Theater on Thursday. The program continues today, beginning at 7:30 p.m. PHOTO BY KYLE CARTER / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 30, 2004
The air in the Temple Theatre was thick with the smell of hair spray Thursday night as the 46th annual Mississippi Junior Miss competition began.
Tawanda Smith of Brookhaven said she is very proud of her daughter, Lauren Smith, Lincoln County's Junior Miss, for never backing down from a challenge.
Smith said Lauren had to miss practices for the Junior Miss competition because of basketball practice. She plays varsity basketball for Brookhaven Academy.
Lauren was one of 41 participants from all over the state in the Mississippi Junior Miss program. Thursday was the first of three nights of competition that will culminate in the naming of Mississippi's Junior Miss 2005 on Saturday.
The Mississippi Junior Miss program began with an opening number that featured all 41 contestants. The program's theme this year is, "Mississippi Junior Miss: Lights, Camera, Action."
Following the opening number, state Sen. Terry C. Burton, R-Newton, was introduced as master of ceremonies.
The contestants were divided into two groups Diamond and Sapphire. The Diamond group participated Thursday in the talent and interview competition, while the Sapphire group competed in the fitness and self-expression categories.
During the self-expression segment, contestants were asked to respond to the question, "Diversity is a prevalent concern in today's society, how have you prepared yourself to become more diverse?"
The physical fitness routine, choreographed by Meridian dance instructor Suzie McCraw, included dance moves, crunches, jumps and push-ups.
The 2004 Mississippi Junior Miss Christina Myers, from Madison County, performed a song and dance routine with the contestants. Myers also talked about some of her funniest moments during the past year as Mississippi's Junior Miss.
Contestants are competing for more than $20,000 in scholarships.
Hampton Thames, state chairman of the Mississippi Junior Miss board of directors, said this year's program is as exciting as ever.

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