Eleven University of Mississippi students were among the 44 contestants vying for this year’s Miss Mississippi crown. One of those women, Anne Elizabeth Buys, competing as Miss Turtle Creek, was first runner-up for the title, and two others reached the semifinal round of 10.
Buys, a Vicksburg native and elementary education major, was announced as a Top 5 finalist, which allowed her to continue to the final round of competition. In her first year of the pageant, she was named first runner-up to veteran competitor and the winner of the 2016 Miss Mississippi pageant, Laura Lee Lewis.
Miss University Carol Coker, Miss Leaf River Valley Ivey Swan and Buys participated in the semifinal competition rounds of evening gown, lifestyle, and fitness and talent on the pageant’s final night.
Coker, a musical theater major from Blue Springs, performed “Finding Wonderland” from the Broadway musical “Wonderland.” Swan, a Hattiesburg native and integrated marketing communications major, performed “Feeling Good” from the musical “The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd.” Buys danced ballet on pointe to “Viva” by the string quartet Bond.
The is the second consecutive year an Ole Miss student has been named first runner-up. Last year, Miss University France Beard was first-runner up to Hannah Roberts, who went on to become first runner-up to Miss America.