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Jerlecki ends run for Miss America without new crown

Posted on Jan. 15, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Truth Staff

Jackie Jerlecki left Las Vegas the same way she entered — as Miss Indiana.

The Goshen resident didn’t place as a finalist and ended her run for Miss America 2012. Jerlecki will still be Miss Indiana until this year’s competition in June.

Her quest for the national title began when she won Miss Elkhart County in 2010. She failed to win Miss Indiana that year. It was during her reign as Miss Duneland in 2011 that she won the state crown.

Indiana has only had one Miss America — Katie Stam in 2009. The last Miss Indiana from Goshen was Anita Hursh in 1958.

Jerlecki’s platform was “Support the Arts — A Vital Part of A Vibrant Community,” and her talent was vocal performance. As a musical theater and youth theatre/puppetry major at Bowling Green State University, she frequently performs on stage.

She is a 2007 graduate of Goshen High School.

Laura Kaeppler of Wisconsin won the title of Miss America.

Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson came in second, while Miss New York Kaitlyn Monte placed third.

Kaeppler introduced herself to pageant viewers by referencing her home state's Green Bay Packers, the NFL's defending Super Bowl champions, according to the Associated Press.

"If you're watching, Aaron Rodgers, call me," she said, referring to the football team's superstar quarterback.

She was good enough during preliminary competitions to be chosen as one of 15 semifinalists who moved on to compete in the pageant's finale. Her bid lasted through swimsuit, evening wear, talent and interview competitions that saw cuts after each round.

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