Raleigh, N.C. — Women from local counties took four of the top five spots in the Miss North Carolina pageant Saturday night – including the top crown for Miss Raleigh.
Adrienne Core, a 2010 graduate of North Carolina State University, was crowned Miss North Carolina at Meymandi Concert Hall.
Core accepted the crown from 2009 Miss North Carolina Katherine Southard, whom she was runner-up to last year. Southard was also the 2009 Miss Raleigh.
"Your first thought is you're going home first runner-up again, so standing there was kind of surreal," Core said. "You kind of soak it up for every second that you're there."
Miss Johnston County Brittany Crews placed third, Miss Spivey’s Corner Aryn Ward placed fourth, and Miss Harnett County Bindhu Pamarthi placed fifth. The runner-up was Miss Thomasville Mallory Honeycutt.
Among the top 11 finalists were also Miss Durham Casey Sutton, Miss Greater Cape Fear Ashley Beasley, Miss Greater Sampson County Katie Mills, Miss Capital City Chelsea Ingram and Miss Greater Sandhills Emmy McLean, who was also named Miss Congeniality. Miss Goldsboro Ashlee Perkinson won the Scholastic Achievement Award.
Core competed in memory of her father, Charles, who died of cancer when she was 18.
"He was such a strong part of my life that I want to take that experience and share that with people," she said. "Cancer is not always something that is sad, but we can give hope and inspire people to live every day, every second of our lives to the best of our abilities."
She will work to promote the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by N.C. State men's basketball coach Jim Valvano before he died of cancer in 1993.
Core was escorted by her mother, Beverly, during the evening gown competition. In the talent competition, she performed a fast-paced clogging routine to "Soul Man."
"It is very unusual. ... It's more of contemporary clogging, more than the traditional clogging you would be used to," Core said. "It is to 'Soul Man' from the Blues Brothers, so that's also a different twist on clogging."
She will represent North Carolina in the Miss America pageant on Jan. 15.
"Preparation begins on night one. We turn in talent music in seven days," Core said. "We are excited to begin the Miss America journey."
After the competition, Core plans to pursue a master's degree in mathematics education.