Bethany Richardson intended to try new things this year. At the end of June, she did a big one: Competing in the Miss California pageant in Fresno.


Richardson, a 2010 Sultana High School graduate, won the Miss Victor Valley Scholarship Pageant on Feb. 11. During the last week of June, she went head to head with 57 other girls from across California. The Golden State's pageant is the largest statewide in the Miss America system.


"She did quite well," said Sharyl Mesina, assistant executive director for the Miss Victor Valley pageant.


While she didn't take home the crown, Richardson raised more than $12,200 in scholarships for local girls.


The Miss America organization is the world's largest provider of scholarship money to women, awarding more than $45 million in cash and scholarships in 2011. The Miss California Pageant distributed $113,500 in scholarships in June.


Richardson won $1,200 for snagging the Miss Victor Valley title and is attending Victor Valley College this summer. She picked up another $1,000 in scholarship money in Fresno, with dreams of majoring in performing arts and becoming a professional actress.


In the end, the Miss California 2012 crown and sash went to Leah Cecil, the former Miss Southern California Regional. Miss Tustin, Keila Halili, was named Miss Congeniality. Miss Golden Gate's Outstanding Teen, Grace Lee Grant, was named Miss California's Outstanding Teen.


The 2013 Miss America Pageant will be held from Jan. 8 to 12 at the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas.