After finishing as first runner-up the past two years, Jesse Craig was crowned Miss Utah on Saturday.
Up next — the Miss America competition on Sept. 9. And Craig said she has mixed feelings about the national organization dropping the swimsuit competition, which she won at the state level two years in a row.
The new Miss Utah, who came into the state competition as Miss Timpanogos, said before she was crowned that the swimsuit competition helped her to “embrace lifestyle and fitness.”
“In high school, I wanted to lose weight so bad I started drinking lemon water mixed with cayenne pepper and eating tuna fish. And then I started competing … and I learned how to balance proteins, carbs and fats. I learned how to take care of my body. I knew how to navigate a gym. So for me, it was very empowering.”
Craig said she was not opposed to dropping the swimsuit competition at the national level this year. (State competitions will do away with it beginning in 2019.)
“The women who made this decision, they’ve done the job of Miss America. I haven’t done that job,” she said. “They know what is best for this organization to make it relevant and to keep it going in the 21st century.”
A graduate of the University of Utah with degrees in English and economics, Craig will receive a $10,000 scholarship to continue her education as the winner of the Miss Utah pageant.