Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton has been impressing judges for years, and Saturday night on a national stage she was named second runner-up at the Miss America pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Clifton, 21, of Oklahoma City, is an accomplished tap dancer and a junior at OU.
Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan was named Miss America.
Oklahoma's own Jane Jayroe, who won the national title and crown in 1967, said she thought Clifton did a fabulous job and represented Oklahoma well.
“We have one of the strongest pageants in America and she just proved that over and over again tonight,” Jayroe said. “She was stunning in everything she did. She was poised and articulate and I was very, very proud of her.”
Taylor Tomlinson, Clifton's Tri Delta sorority sister, said, “Alicia has always been very hardworking and determined in all that she does. If she sets a goal, she will do all that she can to achieve it. Her dream has been to serve as Miss Oklahoma and she has done so passionately and elegantly.”
Clifton had plenty of friends and family there for support, including five sorority sisters who are more than 30 years her senior. They got to know Clifton because of their involvement in the house corporation and as advisers.
The group included Jackie Jones, Sonja Pellow, Sallie Cavin and Marylee Strange, all from Oklahoma City, and Betsy Hibbard from Cushing.
“She's just an adorable girl,” Strange said. “We like her. She's the kind of girl you want to win, so we decided to come to Las Vegas with her.”
Clifton's platform is TAP Into Lifelong Volunteerism. She is a broadcast journalism major and was a member of the OU pompon squad for two years.