ATLANTIC CITY — The preliminaries for the 2018 Miss America Competition began Wednesday night at Boardwalk Hall, kicking off three nights of the scholarship competition.

The 51 contestants have been broken into three groups: Alpha, Mu and Sigma, and will rotate each night, performing their talents, walking the runway and taking on-stage questions.

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Wednesday’s talent group included a modern en-pointe dance from Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel, whose mother owns a dance studio in Egg Harbor Township, and an alto saxophone performance by Miss Pennsylvania Katie Schreckengast, a member of the Penn State University Blue Band.

Scholarships will be awarded to the preliminary winners, and the evening’s events count for a percentage of the overall score.

The preliminaries continue at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Tickets range from $23 to $53 and are available at the Boardwalk Hall box office and

For photos and video highlights from Wednesday’s competition go to— Lauren Carroll

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Twitter @ACPress_LC

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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