It was very close for Miss South Carolina and Laurens native Ali Rogers at the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas on Saturday night, but Miss New York ended up taking home the crown.
Rogers was the runner-up to Mallory Hagan after the judges whittled down the field of more than 50 contestants to just five at the end of the competition.
Miss Iowa Mariah Carey was fourth runner-up, Miss Wyoming Lexie Madden was third runner-up and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton was second runner-up.
Residents of Laurens said Friday they were very proud of their native daughter. Businesses and churches posted signs of support for the beauty queen. Some even made posters showing their support of Rogers.
"It's just hard to believe it's real," said Ali's mother, Adair Rogers.
Only two contestants from South Carolina have been crowned Miss America in the pageant's 92-year history.
The first winner from the Palmetto State came in 1957 when Marian McKnight, of Manning, took home the top prize. In 1994, Kimberly Aiken, of Columbia, became the second winner from South Carolina to be crowned Miss America. She was only the fifth African American to carry the title.
Rogers will take over the title if the reigning Miss America is unable to fulfill her duties.
California, Oklahoma and Ohio are tied for the most Miss America titles at six each.
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