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Meridith Gould crowned Miss South Dakota 2014

Miss South Dakota 2013, Tessa Dee crowns Meridith Gould, Miss South Dakota 2014. (Photo courtesy of Miss South Dakota Pageant)

Hot Springs -- Meridith Gould of Sioux Falls, Miss Lake Alvin, was crowned Miss South Dakota 2014 Saturday night. Her platform is "Financial Responsibility Mentorship for Students." For her talent, she performed a ballet en pointe. Gould also was awarded the "Ray Peterson Rookie of the Year" $500 scholarship for the first-year contestant with the highest overall score. Gould is the first former Miss South Dakota's Outstanding Teen to go on to win the Miss South Dakota.

Gould won the preliminary swimsuit award Wednesday night. She is 19 years old and is a sophomore at the Carlson School of Management -- University of Minnesota.

First runner-up was Miss State Fair, Jade Possail of Brookings. Possail won the swimsuit award Thursday night and had the top score in interview. She also won the $1,000 Miss America Community Service Award.

Second runner-up was Miss Siouxland, Autumn Simunek of Hot Springs. Simunek also won the fundraiser award and Children's Miracle Network Miracle maker award.

Third runner-up was Miss Brookings, Julia Olson, an SDSU student from Spencer, Iowa. Olson was also a preliminary talent winner.

Fourth runner-up was Miss SDSU, Jamie McKinney. McKinney was also a preliminary talent winner.

Miss Dakota Plains, Carrie Wintle, of Iroquois, Miss Missouri River Krissy Zalud, of Vermillion, and Miss Sturgis Courtney Llera-Maxon, of Rapid City, rounded out the top eight finalists. Zalud also won the People's Choice award and the $1,000 Miss America Scholastic Achievement award.

Miss Eastern Plains Katie Crevier, of Elkton, won the award for most talented non-finalist. Crevier was also named Miss Congeniality, voted on by her fellow contestants.

Miss USD Shelby Beer was the top non-finalist in interview, and was also given the new scholarship, the Sylvia Tannehill Graciousness and Generosity Scholarship, a $500 scholarship given in honor of long-time pageant entertainer hostess Sylvia Tannehill.

Gould will represent South Dakota at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City in September. The pageant will be televised on ABC.

-- Source: Miss South Dakota Pageant

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