Miss Auburn-Opelika captures the Miss Alabama USA crown

Miss+Auburn-Opelika+USA+Kelly+Hutchinson+reacts+to+winning+Miss+Alabama+USA+2020+during+the+Miss+Alabama+USA+pageant+at+the+Gogue+Performing+Arts+Center+in+Auburn+on+Oct.+5%2C+2019.
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Miss Auburn-Opelika captures the Miss Alabama USA crown

Miss Auburn-Opelika USA Kelly Hutchinson reacts to winning Miss Alabama USA 2020 during the Miss Alabama USA pageant at the Gogue Performing Arts Center in Auburn on Oct. 5, 2019.

Miss Auburn-Opelika USA Kelly Hutchinson reacts to winning Miss Alabama USA 2020 during the Miss Alabama USA pageant at the Gogue Performing Arts Center in Auburn on Oct. 5, 2019.

Miss Auburn-Opelika USA Kelly Hutchinson reacts to winning Miss Alabama USA 2020 during the Miss Alabama USA pageant at the Gogue Performing Arts Center in Auburn on Oct. 5, 2019.

Miss Auburn-Opelika USA Kelly Hutchinson reacts to winning Miss Alabama USA 2020 during the Miss Alabama USA pageant at the Gogue Performing Arts Center in Auburn on Oct. 5, 2019.

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Miss Mobile Teen USA, Katie Watts, won that competition, besting 25 other contestants. She’ll move on to compete for Miss Teen USA 2020.

Kelly Hutchinson, a senior at Auburn University, is the new Miss Alabama USA.

Hutchinson, who competed as Miss Auburn-Opelika, was crowned Saturday night during a ceremony at the Gogue Performing Arts Center in Auburn. She’ll move on to compete in the Miss USA pageant next year.

Hutchinson was one of 32 women vying for the title of Miss Alabama USA 2020. She competed in interview, swimsuit and evening gown segments on Friday, and moved on to the Saturday finals. Hannah McMurphy, Miss Alabama USA 2019, crowned her successor on Saturday.

Hutchinson, who’s from Marietta, Georgia, won the title of Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen in 2013 and later competed for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. She’s a communications major at Auburn with a minor in marketing. After graduation, she plans to attend law school.

“I’m very involved on Auburn’s campus,” Hutchinson said in an interview with the Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau. “I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and have held numerous leadership positions within my sorority in the past. I am also a member of Auburn’s Panhellenic Cabinet as the Director of Miss Panhellenic meaning I am in charge of planning this year’s Miss Panhellenic pageant. I am very excited about it! I am also a member of Mortar Board honor society and spent the past year as a member of the Auburn Tiger Paws dance team.”

Hutchinson told the tourism bureau she chose Auburn University after being introduced to the school by her brother, Jimmy Hutchinson.

“My brother is three years older than me and was being recruited by many schools to punt for the football team,” she said. “He ended up deciding on Auburn and my very first visit to Auburn was his first football game on the team. I completely fell in love with Auburn and the entire campus and knew it would be where I would end up as well.”

Hutchinson also offered encouragement to other young women who might be interested in pageants.

“A lot of times girls may think there is a certain ‘pageant girl mold’ they need to fit into and change themselves to fit that, but that isn’t the case at all,” Hutchinson said. “Pageants are all about women empowerment and celebrating our differences so it’s important to be 100 percent authentically yourself.”

The Miss Alabama Teen USA pageant also was held this weekend at the Gogue Center. Miss Mobile Teen USA, Katie Watts, won that competition, besting 25 other contestants. She’ll move on to compete for Miss Teen USA 2020.

Watts is a freshman at Baker High School and a competitive dancer. She was crowned by Miss Alabama Teen USA 2019, Kalin Burt.