Hazlett, who moved from Midland to Spring Lake Township about a month ago to work as marketing director at Nunica’s Auto Exchange Inc., would serve as Miss Michigan USA and compete in the Miss USA pageant in July if Danyal is unable or unwilling to fulfill her duties.
“I feel very proud,” said Hazlett, who placed in the top 15 in the 2009 contest. “I worked very hard for this and I feel I accomplished so much personally before the pageant and during the pageant. I was just really proud of myself for getting this far.”
Hazlett said it was “nerve wracking” battling through a tie after the evening gown, bathing suit and interview questions.
She won a crystal trophy and $40,000 scholarship as first runner-up.
“Of course I wanted the crown, but I’m coming out with opportunities for modeling and more networking for my business,” said Hazlett, who hopes to open an image/business consulting business next year. “I was actually pretty content with the way I placed and very happy for the girl that won. I’m a little tired, but very happy with how I competed.”
Hazlett said she was happy to have tied with Danyal, who is a former Miss Teen USA.
“It was kind of cool that I was up against someone who had a ton of experience and had placed in the past,” Hazlett said. “Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. I prayed before each time I went on stage. I breathed deeply and said, ‘It’s in God’s hands. Whatever happens, happens.’ I knew whether I won or not, that was what was right for me.”
Hazlett said she was pleased that her father was able to get a leave from the Army to attend the contest, and that many family members and friends were also there to support her.
After the competition, she absorbed praise from friends and fellow competitors — and downed a burger.
“The first thing I did was went out and ordered something that was not on my diet — a cheeseburger and fries,” she said.
The close finish Saturday may not be the end for Hazlett’s pageant career.
“A former Miss USA came up to me and told me how well I competed,” she said. “I had so many people tell me I have to come back next year and win it. I might just come back and do it again. I’m definitely considering it.”