“Let’s bring on the Mountaineers”will take on new meaning when two West Virginia women compete for the title of Miss America this year.
West Virginia University student Kimberly Goodwin, a communication studies major from Morgantown, was just crownedMiss West Virginia.
Rachel Ellsworth, an incoming WVU senior, won the Miss Maryland pageant Saturday in Hagerstown, Md., along with a $14,000 scholarship.
“All you can do is go in there and give 100 percent,”Ellsworth said.”I was in a daze after I won. I was speechless.”
Born and raised in Cumberland , Md. , Ellsworth, 21, has lived in Fort Ashby for the past three years. She has an associate’s degree in nursing from Allegany College of Maryland and plans to complete her bachelor’s degree in nursing online at WVU .
She said she was attracted to WVU because of its distance education program. Her sister, Angie, received her master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University this past year and encouraged her to apply.
For her platform, Ellsworth has made it her goal to increase public awareness of diabetes. Her family experienced the devastation of the disease first-hand.
“My grandfather passed away from diabetes at only 56, so it’s been in my family,”she said,”and my cousin was diagnosed at 13 with Type 1 diabetes.”
In her new role as Miss Maryland , Ellsworth plans to continue speaking to groups, especially children, about the role of exercise in preventing the disease, and she will have plenty of opportunities. Over the next year, she is expected to make several hundred personal appearances and speak to more than 100,000 people.
An accomplished dancer, Ellsworth performed a tap routine for the talent portion of the pageant. She has won the swimsuit competition for the last three years in a row, and she was the second runner-up last year.
Her sister, Angie, was recently third runner-up in the Miss West Virginia pageant.