Wilmington beauty becomes Miss USA

Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email
Posted by Laura Sinacori - email
Updated by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington native was crowned Miss USA Sunday night in Las Vegas.

21-year-old Kristen Dalton edged out first runner-up Miss California and will go on to compete for the Miss Universe title in the Bahamas in August.

Dalton is a Hoggard High School graduate and is currently a senior at East Carolina University, majoring in psychology and Spanish.

"Kristen from day one as a freshman came to Hoggard very enthusiastic with tons of energy and she came here ready to set the world on fire," said Benjamin Horrell who taught Dalton all four years she was at Hoggard.

Although Dalton was a cheerleader, member of student body government, and many other groups, principal Dave Spencer said she stood out most because of her character.

"She was asked a question last night, 'what makes you a beautiful person?' and she answered in a way that I think summarizes Kristen Dalton as much as anything she could have said," said Spencer.  "It's the way she treats people. She always treats people well and looks for the good in people."

Kristen was whisked off to New York City early Monday morning, where she will have an apartment for a year, along with a two-year scholarship and salary.

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