Champaign native misses shot at Miss USA crown
BATON ROUGE, La.— Champaign's own Miss Illinois USA won't be Miss USA this year.
Lexi Atkins, 21, of Champaign, also a former Miss Illinois Teen USA, competed in the Miss USA pageant Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., but she wasn't among the young women selected for the top 20.
Atkins was an athlete, singer and actress at Champaign's Centennial High School.
After she placed as first runner-up at the national Miss Teen USA pageant in the Bahamas in 2010, she won the Miss Illinois USA crown in 2013.
Atkins completed in a field of 51 beauty queens representing every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. While she was eliminated, Big 10 Conference states were well represented in the top 20. Misses Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all made it to the second round.
The winner of the 63rd Miss USA title, Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez, will represent the U.S. at the Miss Universe competition later this year.