Two Bryant women compete for 2012 Miss Arkansas crown

Two young women from Bryant are representing Saline County this week at the Miss Arkansas Pageant in Hot Springs.
Tracy Neal, Miss University of Arkansas, and Bethany Whitfield, Miss Greater Little Rock, are among the pageant's 47 contestants vying for the 2012 title.
The pageant's public competitions are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs.
Whitfield, 23, is competing as Miss Greater Little Rock, and Neal, 22, is Miss University of Arkansas.
Both are pageant returnees. Whitfield is making her third try at the crown and Neal is a second-year contestant.
In the 2011 pageant, Neal won several awards, including a preliminary swimsuit honor, newcomers swimsuit, evening gown and interview awards, and the overall newcomers award.
She also was named the Children's Miracle Network "miracle maker" for being the contestant to raise the most money for Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Whitfield is the daughter of Donald and Tanya Whitfield.
For her talent presentation in the pageant, she will sing "Somewhere." Her platform is titled "Manage: Personal Finance for Practical Living."
She is a second-year law student at the University of Arkansas and a 2011 graduate of Ouachita Baptist University.
Whitfield will compete Wednesday in the talent competition, in the swimsuit category on Thursday and the evening gown phase on Friday.
Neal is the daughter of Todd and Tonya Neal. Her talent presentation will be a contemporary ballet en pointe, and her platform is called "Pink Courage: Fighting for the Cure."
Neal is a first-year graduate student at University of Arkansas. She will compete Wednesday in the evening gown phase, talent competition on Thursday and swimsuit category on Friday.
Contestants also are judged on private interviews with the judges.
Preliminary winners will be announced at the close of the competition each night. The top 10 contestants will compete on Saturday night and the event will culminate with the crowning of Miss Arkansas 2012. The winner then will represent the state at the Miss America Pageant.
Tickets for the pageant are available from Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or online at They also may be purchased at the Summit Arena box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and on the final day of the pageant.
Tickets are $20 for Wednesday through Friday shows and $30 for Saturday night. A four-day package is available for $85.