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Published June 17 2012

Siri Freeh of Lake Park crowned Miss Minnesota

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Two years ago, Siri Freeh came close. Now, she finally has her crown.

On Saturday night, the 22-year-old native of Lake Park and 2008 graduate of Park Christian Academy in Moorhead was crowned the 2012 Miss Minnesota over 21 other pageant finalists.

Two years ago, Freeh, who will be a senior nursing major at the University of Minnesota next year, was named first runner-up in the 2010 Miss Minnesota competition when she competed as Miss West Metro.

After that experience, she took a year off from competing to make sure that she was as focused as possible.

Freeh, this year’s Miss Northwest, spent the year establishing community partnerships for her platform called “Strengthening the Heart of America,” which focuses on raising heart disease awareness.

And this weekend on the stage of Eden Prairie High School, her year’s worth of hard work paid off.

“I wanted to cry because I had wanted this for so long,” she said on Sunday, not even a full day after winning the crown. “It was phenomenal. The whole night went down without a hitch.”

Freeh also won the pageant’s interview and academic awards. She has obtained a 4.0 GPA through her first three years of college, and plans on earning a doctorate specializing in cardiovascular research.

She will spend the next six months preparing for the Miss America competition in January 2013 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, and she’s the first to say that she’s looking forward to the experience.

“I am so excited for this year,” Freeh said.

First runner-up at the pageant was Miss Brainerd Lakes Rebecca Yeh; second runner-up Miss Coon Rapids Samantha Phillippi; third runner-up was Miss St. Paul Elizabeth Sciopioni; and fourth runner-up was Miss West Metro Bethany Beniek.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535