Charleston native ends Miss USA run in fifth

Miss South Carolina Megan Pickney walks the runway during the introductions of the Miss USA 2013 pageant on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Jeff Bottari

Charleston native and University of South Carolina senior Megan Pinckney came up just short Sunday night in her quest to become Miss USA, finishing fifth in the nationally televised pageant in Las Vegas.

Her showing was more than respectable, advancing to the final five among the 51 contestants at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Pinckney, 22 and the reigning Miss South Carolina USA, is a graduate of Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston. She is majoring in fashion merchandising at USC. Pinckney has served as an intern to the Sherri Hill team, accompanying them at markets and New York Fashion Week, as well as serving as a member of the National Retail Federation. She also has spent time in Italy, where she studied the food and fashion of the Italian culture.

Megan also has been a Legislative aide to S.C. Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, and in 2011 she was a recipient of the Presidential Service award.

The winner of Sunday night’s contest was Erin Brady, Miss Connecticut.

Brady, 25, dazzled in a white sparkly gown and answered a question about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding widespread DNA tests. Asked if she agreed with the decision, Brady said she did.

Brady gets the crown and a New York apartment for one year.

She is expected to spend her title reign on a nationwide speaking tour and raising breast and ovarian cancer awareness, the organization’s official cause.

Unlike the rival Miss America pageant, Miss USA does not ask its queens to perform a talent or choose a charity mission.