Missoula's own Victoria Valentine, the reigning Miss Montana, has been in Atlantic City New Jersey for the last two weeks, competing in the Miss America Pageant.

Valentine, 22, is a graduate of Missoula Sentinel High School and Biola University, and is working to become a physicians assistant in Montana.

Valentine said the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activities, competitions and rehearsing for the live telecast, airing this Sunday on ABC Television.

"They wake us up at the crack of dawn and have events planned for us throughout the day," Valentine said. "We're constantly doing different events for the Miss America organization., in addition to eight hours of rehearsal everyday making sure the live telecast is perfectly aligned so it can go on TV."

Valentine has already competed in the various categories that make up the pageant.

"Preliminary competitions were Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday," she said from the press room in Atlantic City. "I got to compete in talent, swimsuit, on-stage questions, evening gown and personal interview,so within the first 15 minutes of the telecast, they will announce the top 15."

Valentine has met and spoken with the judges for the pageant.

"Kathy Ireland, she a model is the lead judge," Valentine said. "There's also Donald Driver, a former player in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, Mark Sherry, director of 'Desperate Housewives', and Lee Meriweather, a former Miss America and an amazing actress.I also just met Chris Harrision, the host of 'The Bachelor', and we were working with him rehearsing for the live telecast. That was really exciting...I had a real fan-girl moment!"

Valentine said she'd love to the first Miss Montana to be crowned Miss America.

"There has been a Miss Montana in the top 15 America's choice two years ago, but so far the Miss America organization has never had a Miss Montana become Miss America, and that would be a dream come true."

Victoria is the daughter of Pastor Jeff and Mrs. Merrilee Valentine. Mrs. Valentine has kept a record of her daughter's experiences at the Miss America Pageant via her Facebook page. 

The Miss America live telecast will air on ABC Television at 8 p.m. eastern time, 6 p.m. Mountain time, live from Atlantic City New Jersey.

Miss Montana, Victoria Valentine