2005 Junior Miss Underway

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The contestants for Mississippi's Junior Miss program are in Meridian this week preparing for what could be the last state competition.

For many of the contestants, the most difficult part of being in Junior Miss is the fitness routine, a combination of exercise and dance that can give even the most fit teens problems.

Just ask Neshoba County's Junior Miss Brittany White.

"It's gone really fast; the whole fitness routine is really fast-paced," said White.

Junior Miss itself is going fast, too. When the competition ends Saturday night, it will likely be the end of the decades-long program.

The National Junior Miss Board has decided to discontinue for lack of funds and sponsors. The only hope for the girls here is that there will be one more national program for the winner to go to.

"It's just three levels, local, national and state level, and I think it's important for them to have somewhere else to go," said Hampton Thames of Mississippi's Junior Miss Program.

The National Junior Miss board meets Tuesday to discuss the possibility of one last program. Meanwhile, Brittany White said she's hoping for more than that.

"Honestly, deep down inside, I hope, it's really not the last Junior Miss," said White.

That's a feeling shared by many here this week, but one that may not have much of a chance.

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