Miss Maryland USA 2012, Nana Meriwether

Richard D. Salyer/Miss Universe Organization

You know that whole beauty-pageant spiel about the first runner-up being an important position should the winner go AWOL? Turns out, it comes in handy!

Case in point: 2012 Miss USA Olivia Culpo just scored a sweet new gig after winning the Miss Universe crown on Wednesday. And so now, the Stateside pageant's first runner-up, Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether, is stepping in assume the Miss USA role.

E! News scored a chat with the 27-year-old UCLA grad and NCAA volleyball star, who filled us in on five things worth knowing about the statuesque stunner.

1. Her School Is Cool: Meriwether graduated from prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., which has educated the scions of America's political elite: President Barack Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, are currently students, and Chelsea Clinton is an alum. Meriwether says that Al Gore's son was is in her older sister's class. So, does the pageant winner have a future in politics? "Yeah, we'll see—hey! I'm in the public eye, I've gotten experience with Miss USA. Maybe…"

2. She's a Winner on the Stage…and on the Field: Meriwether is one dogged athlete, having competed in track and field in high school. In college at UCLA, she was both a high jumper and a volleyball player. No surprise, then, that she totally killed it at Miss USA's swimsuit competition!

3. Those Sports Chops? Chalk It Up to Good Genes: The beauty queen reveals that her father made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1971. Dr. Delano Meriwether—aka "The Amazing Dr. Meriwether"—was a runner himself and held the national record for the 100-yard dash. "My dad's pretty cool," she says proudly.

4. Her Dad Can Apparently Sing, Too: After Nana got word that she'd be assuming the Miss USA title, her pop gave her quite the surprise. "He's really excited—he called me and he started singing, and I've never heard my dad sing!" she recalls. "It was really cute. I'm so excited to have this for my parents as well."

5. She Could Be a Dr. Meriwether Herself Soon: The regal beauty has her sights set on some big goals. "I've taken the MCAT and LSAT," she tells us. "I almost went to law school, and I'm probably gonna pursue a career in medicine at some point." This, of course, is in addition to a nonprofit she set up, called The Meriwether Foundation, which supports AIDS/HIV orphanages, clinics and schools, and which operates in five African countries. Talk about a real winner, this gal!

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