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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) Last night 53 young women took the stage for the annual Miss USA pageant.

It was the unofficial start to crowning season.

The Miss Mississippi pageant is next month, and competitors are getting ready…

Twenty one year old Jasmine Murray has been hard at work for months preparing for one of her biggest competitions yet, Miss Mississippi.

Jasmine competed last year and won first runner up.

This year, the reigning Miss MSU has been preparing for every aspect of quickly approaching competition.

“I won my title back in October so we pretty much started preparations right after that. It’s just been a lot of appearances and working on fitness, working on my platform, interview, everything. The whole 9 yards,” said Murray.

Miss Mississippi contests are judged on talent, interview, onstage question, evening wear and swimwear.

With such demanding criteria, its easy for tensions to rise in the preparation process.

“I make sure not to put pressure on myself but to really just take time if it really gets overwhelming to just take a step back and reevaluate things and come back to it. You can only do so much at one time so not to overload yourself all at once.”

When asked about the most difficult part of her training, Jasmine didn’t have to think twice.

“Definitely probably working on my fitness. When you have to get in shape, it takes a lot of work. A lot of work.”

“They are I’m sure looking for something specific and I just want them to be in the best shape but like she said feel good from the inside out,” said personal trainer Shundal Holmes.

After several contestants fumbled over their answers in last nights pageant, Jasmine empathized with the pressure of on stage questions.

“I know first hand, especially that on stage question, can be just oh my gosh extremely stressful and you never know what you are going to get asked on stage.”

Jasmine has found her own ways of coping with pressures of pageants and says she couldn’t be more excited about competing in July.

The Miss Mississippi pageant will begin on July 10th.

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