By MATT CRANE
Two young women from the Golden Triangle placed in the top three Saturday at the 2012 Miss Mississippi Pageant.
Miss Spirit of the South Jasmine Murray, a Columbus native, was named first runner up, and Miss Historic South Jessica Terrill, of Starkville, was announced as second runner up.
Miss Dixie Marie Wicks was crowned Miss Mississippi 2012.
In addition to a $7,500 scholarship, Murray was awarded a $500 evening wear scholarship and a preliminary talent award for her rendition of “I Am Changing” from the musical “Dreamgirls.”
Terrill was awarded a $5,000 scholarship with her title of second runner up.
Along with Murray and Terrill, four other young women with connections to Starkville and Mississippi State University competed for the title of Miss Mississippi: Miss Delta Blues Ashley Hamby, Miss Tupelo Megan Rohman, Miss North Central Mississippi TaNechi Temple and Miss Mississippi State University Stephanie Stanford.
Stanford was named a top-10 finalist Saturday, along with receiving a preliminary award for talent Wednesday for her performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the musical “Funny Girl” and the Miracle Maker Award sponsored by the Miss Mississippi Corporation and the Children’s Miracle Network.
Hamby won a preliminary award for swimsuit and fitness Friday.
Held at the Vicksburg Convention Center, the top 10 finalists competing Saturday were judged based on 30 percent composite score from the preliminary rounds, 30 percent score for talent, 20 percent score for swimsuit and 20 percent score for evening wear.
Only the top five contestants answered on stage questions Saturday.
2011 Miss Mississippi and MSU student Mary Margaret Roark gave farewell performances throughout the evening as her reign came to an end.
For information on all the winners of the 2012 Miss Mississippi Pageant, visit its website at http://www.missmississippipageant.com .