Laker Alum, Former Miss Northwest, Runner Up in Miss Minnesota USA
Carol McCarthy | Nov 27, 2017 AT 9:29 am
UNDATED--Another great finish is added to the litany of accomplishments for Laker Alum, one-time State High School Swimming Champion, former Miss Northwest, former Miss Southwest Melissa Paakh. This past weekend Paakh was 1st runner up in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Paakh who listed her hometown as Detroit Lakes was 1st runner up to Kalie Wright from Eagle Bend for the Miss Minnesota USA crown in Burnsville Saturday. Paakh was among 52 women competing to represent Minnesota in the 2018 Miss Universe. Paakh was the 2010 State Class A Champion in 100 yard Butterfly. In 2011, she won the Miss Northwest title and in 2015 won the Miss Southwest title. Paakh swam four years for the University of Utah, a Division I school graduating in 2015. Paakh graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 2011. Also among this year's pageant was the first woman with downs syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant. Officials said 22 year old Mikayla Holmgren is the first person with Down’s syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant when she was accepted as a contestant earlier this year. Although she didn't win the crown, Ms Holmgren did not go home empty handed. She was awarded the Spirit of Miss USA award and the Director’s Award.