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Nicky Haverland in 2006, right after winning the East Otter Tail County Fair Demolition Derby. Derbying ran in the family, she said, and she learned how to build a car when she was just a teenager. She competed for a few years, winning two derbies and finishing third and fourth in two others. Submitted photo

Former Miss Perham on her way to a Ph.D. in biomedical research

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Remember Nicky Haverland, the 2005 Miss Perham who wasn’t afraid to get her crown dirty at demo derbies?

Well today, the pageant winner has traded her glamorous gowns for a white lab coat. Next month, she’ll be triumphantly holding up her Ph.D. in biomedical research, the same way she used to hold up her derby trophies after hard-fought wins.


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Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
(218) 346-5900 x228