Miss Florida crowned new Miss America
Miss Florida, Ericka Dunlap, celebrates with her parents, James and Fannie, after being named Miss America 2004 at the Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2003. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Miss Florida Ericka Dunlap beat out 50 rivals Saturday to be crowned Miss America in a pageant that featured some of the brainiest contestants that judges have seen in years.

Dunlap wins a rhinestone tiara, a runway walk, $50,000 in scholarship aid, a yearlong national speaking tour and — after it — the permanent tag of "former Miss America."

Miss Hawaii Kanoelani Gibson was first runnerup and Miss Wisconsin Tina Sauerhammer was second runnerup. Miss Maryland Marina Harrison and Miss California Nicole Lamarche rounded out the final five.

The daughter of a roofing contractor and a nurse, Dunlap aspires to go to law school when she graduates and become an attorney specializing in sports and entertainment.

Dunlap defeated rivals with impressive academic credentials.

Sauerhammer is already an M.D. at age 22; Miss Virginia Nancy Redd and Miss Rhode Island Laurie Gray, are both recent Harvard University graduates; and Miss New Mexico Rana Jones, is a second-year law student.

Dunlap was crowned by Miss America 2003 Erika Harold, 23, of Urbana, Ill., who won the title last year after delaying her entry to Harvard Law School.

On the Net:

http://www.missamerica.org

— Arizona Daily Sun

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