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Katy Helen Locklear was crowned Miss UNCP 2009 on Jan. 29 in GPAC.

By Wade Allen, Managing Editor

Miss UNCP 2009

The missing, much anticipated Miss UNCP Pageant pre-show did not stop 19-year-old Katy Helen Locklear from securing the title of Miss UNCP 2009 on Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. in GPAC.

"I felt elated with emotions, thinking in my head, oh my gosh, I'm going to Miss North Carolina," Locklear said, recalling the moment when her name was announced as the winner.

"We never actually had a pre-show [planned]," U.C. Director Cynthia Oxendine said.

Miss UNCP 2008 Jamee Hunt thought differently on Jan. 12 when interviewed by The Pine Needle.

The pre-show, publicized to begin at 6:30 p.m. left more than 200 eager people waiting to enter the auditorium.

"We discussed it," Oxendine said. "But instead of doing it, we were able to work our performers into the real show."

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors welcomed the assembled crowd of 500 to the University and then exited the stage to make way for the opening number "Don't Stop The Music" featuring all seven Miss UNCP contestants: Arlene Grady, Aylin Nunez, Katy Locklear, Ashton Young, Alaina Bowden, Marion Victoria Smith and Shahnee Haire.

The emcees

The mistress of ceremonies for the evening was Miss North Carolina 2008 Amanda Watson, who had just competed in the 2009 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas five days prior.

She was accompanied by master of ceremonies Gary Strickland, a resident of the town of Pembroke.

The two made a few occasional jokes but stuck mostly to the script prepared for them which was rehearsed at 5 p.m. on Jan. 28.


The areas of competition included swimsuit, on-stage question, evening wear and talent.

Although each young woman had her share of support rooting for her in the audience, Locklear's fans were the most vocal, at one point totally drowning out Watson, who was announcing facts at the podium.

Joking around

Strickland acknowledged at the podium that his favorite area of competition was swimsuit, adding, "They should slow down," sparking laughter throughout the crowd.

Watson and Strickland discussed how much confidence it took for the young women to appear on stage in a bathing suit.

"I wouldn't want to be out there in a bathing suit promenading," Strickland said, sparking Watson's cleverly joking rebuttal "and we wouldn't want to see that."

Emotions running high

Watson said on Jan. 28 that upon witnessing the young women rehearse, she was remembering when she competed in her first preliminary pageant and how nervous she felt. "I never dreamed I would be on the Miss America stage," Watson said.

The pageant also marked the end of a yearlong journey for a familiar face around campus, Miss UNCP 2008 Jamee Hunt.

This year, Hunt placed first runner-up in the 2008 Miss North Carolina Pageant and immediately made the headlines.

Hunt delivered an emotional farewell address, thanking everyone from family members to University officials.

She concluded her farewell with a final walk around GPAC and a special vocal dedication to her 2008 UNCP pageantry court, Brianna Hunt, Haley Hunter Oxendine and Shayla Hunt.

Other entertainers

While waiting for the votes to be tallied, the audience was also entertained by 2008 UNCP Idol Preston Siler, Miss UNCP Outstanding Teen Brianna Hunt and Miss UNCP Carolina Princess Shayla Hunt.

Locklear, a sister of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, has the platform of breast cancer awareness: early detection is the best protection.

During her on stage question, Locklear pointed out that men should be checked for breast cancer, as this is a growing problem.

"I have no idea of a song yet [for Miss North Carolina]," Locklear said.

Locklear's talent is vocal.

As she embarks on a year of full of appearances, she will prepare to represent the University when she competes for the title of Miss North Carolina 2009 on June 23- 27 in Raleigh.


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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke The print edition of The Pine Needle
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Updated: February 5, 2009
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