Miss Florida, 2002
Katherine Carson was crowned Miss Florida on June 28, 2002, in Miami. She went on to represent the state at Miss America, where unfortunately did not reach the finals. The Miss Florida crown earned her a $10,000 scholarship. During the competition she also tied with Miss St. Petersburg Cristina Burmudez to win the Mary Petrie Morgan Interview Award for another $1,000. The trip to the Miss America pageant earned her a $5,000 scholarship.
Carson qualified for the Miss Florida pageant by being named that year's Miss Largo. It was the second year in a row Miss Largo won the Miss Florida crown. Ironically, it was also the second year that the winner lived outside of Largo. The Largo pageant was open, so Carson traveled the hour north from Sarasota County to compete.
Carson originally enrolled at the UCF as a freshman, but won a $3,000 scholarship in an earlier Miss Florida pageant to her hometown community college and transferred to Manatee for a year. She took a year from school after winning the Miss Florida title to fulfill her duties, and then transferred back to UCF.
For the talent portion of the Miss Florida pageant she sang I Want More, a song popularized by Linda Eder. Kelly Gaudet of Miami, the 2001 Miss Florida, the previous Miss Largo, crowned Carson.