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Miss TSU wins Alabama swimsuit preliminaries

Amy Phillips-Redclift won the title of Miss Troy State University in November.

On Wednesday, she won the Miss Alabama swimsuit preliminary and brought herself one step closer to winning the state's highest pageant title.

Phillips-Redclift, who is originally from San Antonio, Texas, is joined by two other TSU alumnae.

Kelly Hawkins, from Troy, is in the pageant as Miss Mobile and Heather Moran, from Greenville, is there as Miss Jubilee.

Hawkins and Moran have also held the tile of Miss TSU.

Hawkins claimed it in 2001 and Moran claimed it in 2000.

In the preliminary swimsuit competition round Thursday, Hawkins tied with Layla Carter, Miss Leedes Area, also moving a step closer to the title.

Tom Davis, TSU relations coordinator, said having three TSU students involved with Miss Alabama speaks very well for the university.

"To have three students-one current and two alumni-speaks well of the quality of students at the university," Davis said.

TSU students have also fared well in Miss Alabama.

In 2002, Hawkins was named first runner-up in the Miss Alabama pageant.

The university has also won the ultimate prize.

In 1982, Miss TSU Yolanda Fernandez was named Miss Alabama and went on to compete in Miss America.

"To have somebody excel in a competition that has been around as long as this has is wonderful," Davis said, speaking of Hawkins and Phillips-Redclift's win on Wednesday.

He added that with the shifted emphasis on scholarship over the past decades, it is even more rewarding to see three TSU students doing so well in what is often referred to now as a scholarship pageant.

"We have a very talented and intelligent group of girls," said Miss Alabama President Man Teninbaum.

She said that although the girls are competitors, they are also friends.

"They are very supportive of one another and they help each other," she said.

"They are still competitors, but in a good way."

The theme this year is "Happily Ever After" and includes several productions involving the 50 contestants.

Wednesday night's performance included 2002 Miss Alabama Scarlotte Deupree flying across stage like a Tinker Bell or a fairy.

"Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it," Teninbaum said.

"We had the largest Wednesday night crowd we've ever had."

Competition will continue at Samford University each night until Saturday with three groups of girls competing in a different event each night.

The top ten winners from the three nights of preliminaries will compete in all three events again on Saturday.

The winners of the evening wear competition, the interview and the on-stage question are not revealed at anytime.

The interview counts for 40 percent of the total points and carries the most weight.

The talent competition counts for 30 percent and the swimsuit competition, the eveningwear competition and the on-stage question each count for 10 percent.

Teninbaum said five judges judge each event and the highest and the lowest scores are thrown out, so only a total of three scores counts toward each girl's points.

Thursday night, Phillips-Redclift will compete in the eveningwear competition and on Friday she will compete in the talent competition.

Moran also competed in the swimsuit competition on Wednesday and will follow the same schedule of competition.

Hawkins competed in the talent competition on Wednesday and will compete in the swimsuit competition on Thursday and the eveningwear competition on Friday.

Miss University of Alabama Shannon Camper won Wednesday's talent competition with her vocal performance of "God Bless America."