Eliza Kanner crowned Miss Connecticut

Eliza Kanner was crowned Miss Connecticut on June 24 in Hartford.

Eliza Kanner, a 21-year-old student at the University of Connecticut, was crowned Miss Connecticut on June 24 at the Connecticut Convention Center, out of a highly-competitive class of 20 women.

Kanner had competed for the same title last year, and had previously competed in the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen pageant. She said that earning the crown she has wanted for a long time is a amazing feeling, and that she feels fortunate to be walking in the footsteps of Miss Connecticut 2016.

“It’s incredible to be crowned by Alyssa Taglia. Who has been my mentor for the past ten years. It was an incredible moment, and a moment I have been waiting for.”

Kanner’s operatic vocal of “Memory” from the musical, Cats clearly impressed judges, as did her hard-earned physique. She earned preliminary awards in both talent and swimsuit. Miss Wolcott Alyssa Anderson was also a double-prelim winner, and performed a tap dance.

Kanner said it probably won’t fully sink in that she’ll be competing for the Miss America crown until she’s actually on her way there in late August, but that she’s looking forward to meeting her new “pageant sisters.”

“I can not wait for Miss America and meet all of the contestants from across the country,” she said, adding that she’s also excited about being the ambassador for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Kanner is the Co-Executive Director of HuskyThon – a student-run event that brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for CCMC. The goal this year is to reach seven figures.

“[It’s] our 18-hour dance-athon at the University of Connecticut, as we are on the road to raising $1 million,” Kanner said.

Like her predecessor, Kanner hopes to make as many appearances as possible in Connecticut this year.

“I will not say no to anything. I will go wherever the crown takes me,” she said.

The Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen competition was held earlier the same day, with the winner crowned during the Miss Connecticut Finals.

Brooke Cyr, a 15-year-old from Waterbury and a student at Holy Cross High School won the chance to compete for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in just about a month.

Cyr showed her impressive strength and acrobatic skill in a dance/tumbling routine that was a real crowd-pleaser.

In her third time competing for the state title, Cyr said she was more confident that the past two years.

“I knew I was ready for this,” she said. “I fit a lot of hard work into two short months, because I was a patient at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and I didn’t even think I was going to be competing this year, so to even be on the stage was incredible. I cried just coming onstage, and it’s an amazing feeling that my hard work has paid off.”

Cyr said she will waste no time preparing for the national competition in Orlando.

“It’s crazy, but I’m definitely going to start preparing tonight,” she said.

Cyr said that taking part in the organization has changed her from a shy, not-so-girly girl, to one that is more confident, and she wants to encourage other teens and younger girls to take a similar path.

“I want to get more girls involved and show them what this organization is really about,” she said, “and what at title really is. It’s not just a title, it’s a job.”

Cyr also had high praise for the other competitors.

“They were amazing. I love every single one of them, and it was a very fair competition. I would be happy if any one of us were crowned tonight,” she said.

For more information, visit www.missctamerica.org.


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