May 2, 2016 6:37 PM
CONCORD — In a field of 28 contestants, it was a high school senior that won a big title on Saturday at Pinkerton Academy's Stockbridge Theater. Dover native, Caroline Carter was crowned the 70th Miss New Hampshire at just 18 years old.
A lot has changed since her first pageant five years ago.
"My sister wrote out how to put on my makeup on index cards because I had no clue," Caroline said. "I was so awkward. I don't know how they picked me, but I'm so happy they did."
Caroline won $15,000 in scholarship money when she was crowned. The singer will now prepare for the Miss America pageant on Sept. 11. She said one particular area will be her focus.
"Being a diabetic, it's hard sometimes to work out and then all of the sudden my blood sugar will drop and I'll have to eat to get my blood sugar back up," she said. "It basically nullifies what I just did in that last workout."
But Caroline doesn't shy away from the disease. After being diagnosed with type I diabetes at 10 years old, she has been involved in various ways with awareness and research and wears her pump visible on purpose.
"I was taking off the sweater and they saw it and they said, 'thank you for wearing it somewhere visible because I have a daughter who's not afraid of diabetes but who doesn't really want to accept that into her day-to-day life.'"
With the disease that she lives with everyday, Caroline appreciates the way it's helped her. She credits her diabetes for helping her push to the national competition.
"Diabetes made me mature a lot faster than a normal child would," she said.
Caroline will finish her senior year of high school and defer her first year at the University of New Hampshire, but will take online courses as she serves the next year as the 70th Miss New Hampshire.
Caroline wasn't the only winner over the weekend.
The first runner-up in the competition was Miss Portsmouth Area, Lauren Percy, who earned a $4,500 scholarship. Second runner-up honors and a $3,500 scholarship was awarded to Miss Seacoast, Katie Smith. Third runner-up in the competition was Miss Manchester, Mariah Larocque, who earned a $3,000 scholarship. Fourth runner-up honors and a $2,500 scholarship was awarded to Miss Deerfield Fair, Katie Masso-Glidden. The remaining Top 10 contestants each received a $1,500 scholarship and the other 18 contestants earned a $1,300 scholarship.
The 28 contestants competed in preliminary competitions on Thursday and Friday. Caroline Carter, who sang "I Dreamed a Dream," and Jessica Avelar, a twirler, won $250 Preliminary Talent scholarships and Katie Smith and Samantha Makes won $250 Preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness scholarships.
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