Miss Nevada crowned as Miss USA 2014!
Miss USA 2014 has been crowned, and the winner is Miss Nevada, Nia Sanchez! The brunette beauty is 24, from Las Vegas, and a fourth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art Taekwondo. (No big deal though, right?!) She will represent the United States at the Miss Universe competition later this year.
Sanchez beat out 50 other beauty queens hoping to claim the title, which was awarded by outgoing Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady. Following the evening gown and swimsuit preliminary competitions, Sanchez sealed the deal with her interview answer. When asked about the recent reports of sexual violence on college campuses and what ought to be done, Sanchez in part replied:
"More awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned at a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that's something we should really implement for a lot of women."
First runner-up for the highly-coveted crown was Miss North Dakota, Audra Mari. Following Mari, the other runner-ups were Miss Louisiana Brittany Guidry, Miss Georgia Tiana Griggs, Miss Florida Brittany Oldehoff and Miss Iowa Carlyn Bradarich.
Click through the gallery above to see our ranking of best and worst gowns of the 2014 evening gown preliminary competition!