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News / Clark County News

Alicia Cooper of Clark County third runner-up for Miss America

'It was a pretty great feeling,' Miss Washington says after Sunday night's show

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published: September 11, 2016, 11:03pm

Clark County native Alicia Cooper said her faith kept her steady as she took the stage at this year’s Miss America Competition.

It apparently paid off. Cooper, Miss Washington 2016 and Miss Clark County 2016, was named third runner-up in the national contest Sunday night in Atlantic City, N.J.

“It was a pretty great feeling,” the 22-year-old said by phone after the show. “I was very calm because I knew that everything was in God’s plan. … I was just so blessed to be there. I am very happy with the outcome.”

A Miss Washington has never won the national competition, though many have come close. Jacquie Brown, another Clark County woman, made the Miss America Top 5 in 2010, also earning third runner-up.

Cooper attended Felida Elementary School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School and graduated from Skyview High School. She learned to tap dance as a young girl at Schell Dance Studio in Hazel Dell.

Those dance skills were put to use during the talent portion of Miss America, as she tapped to the song “Let’s Get Loud.”

“It’s a privilege to be on the Miss America stage,” Cooper said Sunday night, let alone make the Top 5.

She also said she was happy for the young woman named Miss America 2017: Arkansas’ Savvy Shields.

Cooper attends Washington State University and plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in social science with a minor in psychology.

Her platform for the Miss Washington pageant was Live on Purpose: Defining Your Legacy. The idea is to not wait until it’s too late to create a legacy of service, but to start giving back to your community today.

Cooper has said she was motivated to participate in the contest because of the opportunity for college scholarships. Amounts vary, but last year’s third runner-up in the Miss America Competition was awarded $17,000.

Next, Cooper said, she will return home and get to work as Miss Washington.

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Columbian Assistant Metro Editor