The contestant from Maryland was the runner-up in the Miss USA pageant Sunday in Las Vegas.
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."