02/08/09 — Here she is ... ECU sophomore chosen Miss Goldsboro

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Here she is ... ECU sophomore chosen Miss Goldsboro

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 8, 2009 2:00 AM

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Molly Deans, Miss Goldsboro 2009, is crowned by former titleholder Lisa Mace.

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Winners in the Miss Goldsboro Scholarship Pageant are, from left, Second Runner-up Marissa Phillips, Miss Goldsboro Molly Deans, Outstanding Teen Crystal Byrd and First Runner-up Erin Acree.

Miss Goldsboro 2009, Molly Deans of Durham, held her composure until she posed for photos with her family.

Then the tears welled up and started flowing.

"This is only my second pageant," said the 19-year-old East Carolina University sophomore after the pageant Saturday night at the Paramount Theatre. "I always stayed behind the scenes until I became of age, and I decided why not?"

Miss Deans won her first crown in November when she became Miss Garner.

And Saturday, she and the other 11 contestants, nine for Miss Goldsboro and three for Outstanding Teen, held the audience of 480 people spellbound. In the eyes of the judges and the audience, they all shined bright. While the judges made their final decisions, the master and mistress of ceremonies, Jay Sauls and Kate Daniels, had to ad lib while they finished tallying up the scores.

"I have always been able to call it. One or two would be outstanding. But it's impossible this time," Sauls said earlier in the day while the judges were interviewing the contestants. The interviews made up 35 percent of each contestant's score. Miss Deans won the interview competition.

Talent made up 25 percent of the score, and Miss Deans also won that award for singing "I Only Want To Be With You."

Miss Deans will receive a $2,000 education scholarship and a $1,000 wardrobe allowance.

During her reign, she will promote the arts in public schools.

"I always had a love for the arts," she said.

Her second runner-up was ECU student Marissa Phillips, who will receive a $500 education scholarship.

First runner-up was ECU graduate Erin Acree, who will receive a $1,000 education scholarship.

The judges named Crystal Byrd Outstanding Teen 2009. She will receive a $1,000 savings bond and a $1,000 wardrobe allowance.

The audience also got to vote during intermission. The People's Choice winner was Olivia Neal, a UNC-Chapel Hill biology major.

The pageant shined, too. This is the second year Kate Daniels and Jay Sauls have been executive directors of the local pageant.

Their first year, the Miss Goldsboro pageant won the North Carolina Best Pageant of the Year award.