Maryland woman finishes second in Miss USA pageant
Miss Maryland USA Nana Meriwether, left, waits with Miss Rhode Island USA Olivia Culpo before Culpo was named Miss USA at the pageant in Las Vegas. Meriwether was the runner-up. (Reuters photo / June 4, 2012)
Miss Maryland USA Nana Meriwether, a 27-year-old from Potomac, finished second to Rhode Island's Olivia Culpo at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
After beating out a field of 51 contestants that included Meriwether, a former volleyball player at Duke and UCLA, Culpo will be the U.S. representative in this year's 61st Miss Universe pageant.
After the pageant's three competitions — swimsuit, evening gown and interview question — Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella crowned Culpo, a 20-year-old cellist, her successor.
Culpo didn't flinch during the interview round, when she was asked whether it would be fair for a person born a man to be named Miss Universe after becoming a woman.
“I do think that would be fair,” Culpo said. “But I could understand how people could be apprehensive to take that road.”