Fant, Branch named winners in first night of Miss Miss prelim competition

Published 10:56 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Miss Mississippi pageant veterans were the winners Wednesday night during the first round of the 2018 preliminary competitions held at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Miss New South Tanner Fant won the talent phase of the competition and Miss Tupelo Asya Branch walked away as the swimsuit winner.

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Fant, who was a first-time contestant last year, has now won the talent phase of the competition in preliminaries both years.

Branch previously won the swimsuit phase of the competition in 2016.

“It is still a whirl wind and this is an overwhelming and humbling experience, and I honestly did not expect this,” Branch said. “I have worked hard all year, but that is everyone here. We have all worked hard on our bodies.”

To prepare for the swimsuit competition, Branch said she has combined cardio with weight training and also a healthy diet.

“I love healthy foods, so it is not very hard, but having to cut out ice cream is difficult,” she said.

When asked what  the one thing it really takes to get in shape is, she said, “mindset.”

“You have to think it in your mind that this is what you want to do and accomplish. And once you have set that goal, anything is possible,” she said.

Branch is a student at the University of Mississippi where she is studying broadcast journalism.

“Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman” was the song Fant chose to perform her lyrical dance.

“I am pretty picky when it comes to choosing songs to dance to, but when I came across ‘Never Enough’ before the movie came out, and it just brought me to tears. And then when the movie came out, it just made me fall in love with the song even more,” she said.

Fant said the lyrics of the song talk about success and ambition and this for her defined her life.

Fant is a student at the University of Alabama where she is a dance major.

To prepare for the talent phase of the competition, she said, she spent many hours in the studio and also reflecting on experiences.

“A lot of my preparation comes from a mental/emotional preparation for talent, so when ever something happens in my life I write it in a journal and then I take the journal with me to the dance studio and see how I cam emulate that into my dance,” Fant said. 

Preliminary competitions for the Miss Mississippi Pageant will continue tonight and Friday. On Saturday, the top 10 will be announced and winner crowned.

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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