Gilbert resident and Grand Canyon University junior Jennifer Smestad will represent the state in the Miss America competition after winning the Miss Arizona pageant held at Gilbert Mesquite High School from June 20 through 22.
According to a press release, Smestad, who entered the weekend competition as Miss City of Maricopa, bested 15 other contestants and won several individual awards — quality of life, preliminary talent and preliminary swimsuit — on her way toward becoming the 2013 Miss Arizona. Smestad, who won the state contest in her first time competing in it, takes over the tiara from 2012 winner and University of Arizona student Piper Stoeckel.
Smestad now has approximately three months to prepare for the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sept. 15. She will compete against representatives from all 50 states to become the pageant’s 2014 winner and replace current title holder and former Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan.