Missoula native Victoria Valentine was crowned Miss Montana Saturday night at the state pageant held in Glendive.

Valentine, 22, a graduate of Biola University, is the daughter of Jeff and MerriLee Valentine. Her father is lead pastor of Missoula Alliance church. Several years ago, she had been chosen Miss Montana Outstanding Teen, also part of the Miss America program.

"Originally, I wasn't really interested in the Miss America program, but I was encouraged to enter the Miss Montana Outstanding Teen pageant, and I won, so that really got the ball rolling for me to prepare for the Miss Montana pageant," Valentine said. "Ever since then, I've wanted to compete at Miss America and be the type of woman that the Miss America program portrayed."

Valentine's talent was singing the song "Danny Boy", while accompanying herself on the harp.

"I've always done both talents, voice and the harp, but I've never combined them before, and it worked out very well," she said.

The Miss America pageant will be in September in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"I'm getting a lot of coaching, in that they want me to be well-versed in world and national events, and I'll be working on interviews, walking on stage, my talent and just knowing how to be a good public speaker," she said. "I'll be in Atlantic City for two weeks, I believe."

A Miss Montana has never won the Miss America crown, but there's always a first time.

Miss Montana 2014 Victoria Valentine


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