Dorchester girl wins Miss Massachusetts crown

A 10 year-old Dorchester girl, who is a standout in the classroom and the swimming pool, has added an exciting new accomplishment to her resume this summer: Kristen Fields has been crowned Miss Massachusetts by the National American Miss pageant. The fifth grader will jet off to Hollywood this November to compete for the national title.

"It was a great achievement," the King Street resident acknowledged, "but I didn't even think I was going to win."

Fields placed third in the statewide competition last summer and says she worked in the last year to improve her verbal skills to give her an edge in the contest's interview round. This time, she finished first in a field of about 70 girls from across the Commonwealth who gathered at a Burlington hotel ballroom on August 11.

Fields is an honor-roll student at the Benjamin Banneker Charter School in Cambridge, but stays active locally by competing with the Dorchester YMCA's Tiger Sharks swim team.

Fields, who also took top honors in a casual wear modeling phase of the contest, says she intends to fulfill the contest's community service requirement by volunteering at Boston homeless shelters.

Her mom, Lindsa Fields, feels that her daughter has a great shot at winning the national Miss USA title.

"I think she's up to the challenge," says the proud mom, who along with her husband James, attends Kristen's various pageants and meets. "She was in shock for a little while, but she's been fine with it. She has tons of support."