Photo courtesy of
Sgt. Jill Stevens smile
ecstatically after being crowned Miss Utah.
DRAPER, Utah —
Sgt. Jill Stevens, a member of 1st Battalion, 211th
Aviation, Utah National Guard, was crowned Miss Utah June 30, at the annual pageant held at the
Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City.
As the only member of the
military in the running this year, Stevens, of Kaysville,
competed as Miss Davis County along with 49 other
contestants from throughout the state.
Competing in last year’s pageant as Miss Southern Utah
Stevens finished as second runner-up.
She was later advanced to first runner-up when her
predecessor was unable to fulfill her duties.
Graduating this spring as
a registered nurse from SUU, Stevens decided on a second go
at the title after friends and family told her she had a
legitimate shot at the crown.
“That’s why I went back,
because people believed in me,” said Stevens. “There was
such good competition, I knew I needed to work hard.”
Adding to the suspense of
the evening, when the field was narrowed down to ten
finalists, Stevens’ name was announced ninth. And when the
group was pared down to five, Stevens was the fifth one
“These are some stellar
girls,” added Stevens, modestly. “I did my best, but I left
it in the Lord’s hands.”
Stevens is a combat
veteran, having served as a medic on an 18-month tour in
Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with
the 1-211th in 2004-05.
an example of her ability to respond on short notice as a
Guard member, she was a last-minute fill-in for the Full
Nelson team, which included members of the Utah National Guard
and competed in the
Wasatch Back Relay
June 22-23. Her team finished seventh overall and second
in the Open Mixed (men and women) Division. And she did that
just one week prior to the Miss Utah competition.
“Jill Stevens is a wonderful ambassador
for the Guard. Obviously she is bright and attractive, but
most important, she’s a terrific Soldier,” said Maj. Gen.
Brian Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.
Stevens will compete in
the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas in January 2008.