Miss Cobb County, Alexa Gilomen, right, hugs Miss Capital City, Victoria Hill, after Hill was named Miss Georgia.

Miss Cobb County took home the prize for first runner-up during Saturday night’s Miss Georgia competition in Columbus.

Alexa Gilomen, 22, a 2018 graduate of the University of Georgia and Suwanee resident was crowned runner-up. She said when her name was read, her first thought was happiness for the winner, Victoria Hill, competing as Miss Capital City.

“We all get so close during Miss Georgia,” she said. “These other candidates are truly some of my best friends and biggest cheerleaders. I knew Victoria before Miss Georgia because she was Miss Cobb County last year and crowned me. She is such a wonderful friend, and I am so excited to see her shine as Miss Georgia.”

Gilomen’s first pageant was only two years ago when she competed in Miss UGA while studying there. Gilomen has a background in singing, and she said she became interested in pageants because she wanted to sing on stage again. But she said she never imagined the opportunities pageants would bring her.

“It has been such a blessing to serve the Cobb community,” she said. “I have been a part of so many wonderful events, but my favorite was being a part of the ‘Princess for a Day’ program, which gives girls in foster care a makeover, a free gown, and the chance to feel like a queen.”

Gilomen said she is also looking forward to singing the National Anthem at the Braves’ game on July 2.

Gilomen’s voice wowed the audience and judges at Thursday night’s talent competition when she performed “Lovesong” by the Cure, earning the title of preliminary talent winner, but she told the MDJ after the show she felt her biggest strength was the interview portion.

Gilomen said preparing to compete in Miss Georgia involved a lot of hard work and preparation, but she wholly recommended the pastime to anybody who is interested.

“Pageantry will truly shape you into who you want to be,” she said. “Believe in yourself and remember that comparison is the thief of joy — you are your only competition.”

Gilomen said she hopes to continue helping others out in her career – she has her eyes set on a job in community outreach for a children’s hospital.

“Ultimately, whatever I do, I want to keep serving my community because that’s what makes me the happiest,” she said. “I am excited for this next chapter of life.”