In her first-ever pageant, Brenda von Rautenkranz, 33, of Woodbine won the Mrs. Maryland title last June.
Today, the petite, blonde mother of two will compete for the top title of Mrs. USA in Irvington, Texas.
Since capturing the state title, von Rautenkranz has made roughly one appearance a month and has participated in each event, such as a marathon race.
If she gets the national title, she will be expected to act as spokeswoman for married women and attend fund-raisers for non-profit groups throughout the country.
The Mrs. USA contest is based on marital commitment and the contestants' views on family life.
Half of the score will be based on a two-hour interview with the judges, one-fourth on a sportswear competition and the remainder on an evening gown competition.
The winner will receive an expense-paid trip to any place in the world and a $10,000 mink coat.
But von Rautenkranz said the title isn't everything and if she loses, it won't be the end of the world. But if she wins, she said, she will use her title to help others.
A part-time teacher in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, she has been married to Walter von Rautenkranz, 29, for eight years. The couple have two children, 6 and 3.
When not at school, she can be found giving horse-riding lessons, teaching aerobics or training for triathlons. Two years ago, she ran the New York City Marathon in less than four hours.
A self-proclaimed optimist, von Rautenkranz said she wants it all.
But if she doesn't win, she added, she has plenty to keep her busy just working with Maryland's children.
OFFICE IN COLUMBIA FOR SOCIAL SECURITY
The Columbia Social Security office will celebrate its grand opening with an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. and a ribbon-cutting ceremony 1:30 p.m.
Both are open to the public.