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Tiara, No Helmet, for Miss Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Sgt. Jill Stevens has a new assignment: Miss Utah.

Stevens, a medic in the Utah National Guard who spent 18 months in Afghanistan, was crowned Saturday night at the Capitol Theatre and will represent the state at the Miss America pageant.

"These are some stellar girls," Stevens said of the field of 50. "I did my best, but I left it in the Lord's hands."

Stevens, a registered nurse from Kaysville, is a member of the 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation, in the National Guard. She was in Afghanistan in 2004-05.

"Obviously she is bright and attractive, but most important, she's a terrific soldier," said Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.

Competing as Miss Southern Utah University, Stevens was a runner-up in the 2006 Miss Utah contest. Friends and family encouraged to enter again.

"That's why I went back, because people believed in me," she said in a statement.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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