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Ivy League Graduate, Dance Champion Crowned Miss USA

Ivy League Graduate, Dance Champion Crowned Miss USA

Wednesday, 13 September, 2017 - 05:00
Cara Mund, an Ivy League graduate and national dance champion from North Dakota, was crowned Miss America. (Reuters)

An Ivy League graduate and national dance champion from North Dakota was crowned Miss America on Sunday, becoming the first contestant from the state to win the nearly 100-year-old contest.

According to Reuters, Cara Mund, a graduate of Brown University, who has been accepted to Notre Dame’s law school, trained for several summers with the world-famous Rockettes.

Mund, 23, was one of 51 contestants in the pageant, representing the 50 United States and the capital Washington.

Mund, who adopted the Make-a-Wish foundation which benefits children with life-threatening conditions as her platform for the competition, performed a jazz dance to “The Way You Make Me Feel” for the contest’s talent portion, wearing a black mini-dress with a matching hat.

In the question-and-answer segment, Mund weighed in on the United States’ recent withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, saying she thought it was a bad decision.

The first runner-up was Miss Missouri, Jennifer Davis, who competed on a platform of diversity.

The pageant was broadcast live on ABC from Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The contest returned to the seaside gambling resort a few years ago after nearly a decade in Las Vegas. It was dropped by ABC in 2004 following a steep ratings decline, but returned after years on cable.

Judges scored contestants, who ranged from teenagers to the cut-off age of 24, based on talent, the live question segment, a personal interview and appearances in gowns and swimsuits. Many of the entrants drew on music or dance for the talent portion.

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