Last of preliminary competitions tonight

Published 11:18 am Friday, July 11, 2014

A veteran and newcomer were the winners in the second night of preliminary competition at the annual Miss Mississippi Pageant Thursday at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Twenty-three-year-old Miss Deep South Caroline Conerly from Hattiesburg won the talent preliminary and a $500 scholarship with her vocal performance of “Bring Him Home” from the musical “Les Miserables.”

Conerly said she chose the song for two reasons — it’ from her favorite musical and she felt like it represented an integration between Broadway and opera.

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“I can’t imagine singing any other song because this show, this book, this story, the storyline, the meaning behind it, all the passion and work that went into the story itself is something I wanted to present,” she said.

Conerly said she was overwhelmed with winning her talent preliminary.

“This is my fifth time to be in the Miss Mississippi Pageant and I have never won a preliminary and I can’t begin to describe how excited I am,” she said.

Conerly is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies.

Miss Dixie Carol Coker, an 18-year-old from Blue Springs, won the swimsuit preliminary competition and a $400 scholarship.

Coker, who wore a white two-piece swimsuit, said she started getting fit “way before the preliminary competition.”

“I have always been very active with cheerleading and I really think that set into motion my workout routine. I even worked out at the beach,” she said.

Coker said she does not follow a specific diet plan, she just chooses to eat healthy.

“You don’t have to go on crazy extreme diets, you just have to make smart decisions — like choosing fruit over a cookie,” she said.

Coker is a graduate of East Union Attendance Center and plans to attend the University of Mississippi in the fall.

Conerly and Coker join Wednesday night’s preliminary winners in a lineup of  41women who head into final preliminaries tonight. A winner is to be crowned Saturday.

Wednesday night’s preliminary winners were Miss Riverland Jasmine Murray and Miss Mississippi State University Laura Lee Lewis, who tied for the talent portion of the preliminary competition. Miss Historic South Randi-Kathryn Harmon won the swimsuit preliminary.

The Mississippi’s Choice Award will run until midnight tonight, and the winner will be announced on the evening of the final competition. The winner of the fan vote will receive a scholarship of up to $2,000. Fans can visit the Miss Mississippi Pageant website, ,to cast a vote. Each vote costs $1 and a portion of the proceeds will fund the scholarship while the remainder will go to the Children’s Miracle Network.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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