Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Miss California!
Leah Cecil, a 22-year-old Orange County native who already held the title of Miss Southern California Regional, was selected to represent our state Saturday night in the upcoming Miss America pageant, reports CBS Los Angeles.
The California State Fullerton alumna, who grew up in Garden Grove, Calif., will compete for the title of Miss America in January, according to The Examiner.
Ms. Cecil beat out 57 other contestants this weekend and won a $10,000 scholarship. In addition to the grand prize money, the professional harpist won an extra $1,000 for the best overall talent award. She plans to use the money to further pursue her passion for music, writes The OC Register.
The first runner-up for the contest was Miss South Counties Crystal Lee, 20, of San Francisco, reports The Fresno Bee. Second runner-up was Miss Sierra Nevada Caylynn Simonson, 21, of Bakersfield, while third runner-up was Miss Gavilan Hills Lauren Smolka, 22, of Glendora, and fourth runner-up was Miss Culver City Marina Inserra, 20, of San Diego.
"It's still sinking in, but I'm ready for it," Ms. Cecil said to The OC Register. "It all felt like a dream," she continued, "and I was waiting to wake up from it. It's all real now, and I'm ready to hit the ground running."
Check out some pictures of the new Miss California, and wish her luck!