San Jose State Swimmer Andreea Dragoi Wins Miss Ambassador U.S. Nation Beauty Pageant

On October 23, San Jose State sophomore swimmer Andreea Dragoi won the Miss Ambassador US Nation Beauty Pageant, just less than two months after she won the Miss California U.S. Nation Pageant. By virtue of her title as Miss California U.S. Nation, Dragoi qualified to participate in the Miss U.S. Nation Beauty Pageant that took place in Washington D.C., where she ran against different local beauty pageant winners across the country.

The Miss US Nation pageant is one out of the several national-level beauty pageants in America, which includes the Miss USA pageant (which selects the American entrant for the Miss Universe pageant) and the Miss America pageant. According to the Miss US Nation pageant website, the competition is “focused on molding the careers of aspiring models by helping the young ladies with self-awareness, confidence building, public speaking & gaining the proper exposure to reach their goals.”

Participants in the Miss US Nation Pageant have to go through four rounds of judging: a panel interview where they are tested on their speaking skills, a portion of the competition where the contestant has to wear a swimsuit/athletic wear so they can be judged based on their dedication to a “healthy, fit, lifestyle”, a stage showing where contestants wear a floor-length evening gown to be judged based on their “poise, elegance, and stage presence”, and an on-stage question which tests the contestants’ ability to think on their feet.

“I am grateful for all the people I have in my life that make me happy and support me. And I am thankful that I now can have a say and influence the stereotypes and stigmas in the pageant and modeling world.” Dragoi said of her pageant run. “This accomplishment means a better version of myself as I learn many new things from every pageant, every girl, every different culture, and lastly a new experience”

Dragoi has been able to successfully balance being a swimmer and a beauty pageant this NCAA season, having participated in almost all of San Jose State’s meets (only missing the November 4 meet against Stanford). She most recently competed at the 2022 Missouri Invite, where she finished 28th in the 50 free (26.28), 12th in the 100 fly (57.28), and 6th in the 200 fly (2:05.50) and set season-bests in all of her events (her season-best in the 200 fly is a 2:05.38 from prelims).

In her freshman year at SJSU (the 2021-22 NCAA season), Dragoi qualified for the 2022 CSCAA National Championships, where she once again swam the 200 fly and finished 23rd. She also competed at the 2022 Mountain West Conference Championships, where she scored 15 points for SJSU by placing 12th in the 200 fly and setting a best time of 2:02.22.

A native of Romania, Dragoi has represented her birth country at multiple international competitions like the 2019 European and World Junior Championships, where she placed 17th in the 200 fly, 27th in the 200 IM, and 34th in both the 50 and 100 fly at the latter meet.

Dragoi’s Best Times (SCY and LCM):

  • 100 yard fly: 56.95
  • 200 yard fly: 2:02.22
  • 50 meter fly: 28.74
  • 100 meter fly: 1:02.03
  • 200 meter fly: 2:15.38
  • 200 meter IM: 2:20.96

Although Dragoi has seen success both as a swimmer and a beauty pageant, it did not come without challenge. She had to endure two serious injuries recently, as she first dislocated her kneecap in 2019 and then partially tore her ACL in fall 2021, which caused her to miss training for three weeks. Because of her physical setbacks, she has chosen to study rehabilitation sciences in college.

Dragoi isn’t the only person in the swimming community who has been involved in beauty pageants before. In fact, the most notable “beauty queen” connected to swimming also came from California. Nicole Johnson (who now goes by Nicole Phelps), the wife of 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, won the Miss California USA title in 2010, and placed ninth overall in the national-level Miss USA competition that year.

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1 year ago


1 year ago

Congratulations, but why are beauty pageants still a thing!? Just for men to ogle women and tell them this is what you need to look like to be beautiful?

Reply to  B1Guy!
1 year ago

Implying women are voluntarily competing in pageants to satisfy what men want makes YOU the sexist.

Reply to  Coachy
1 year ago

Wasn’t implying anything about contestants motives for entering. Just implying why they may still be around. If it was truly for women to feel confident and empowered, I’m sure the contestant pool/winners would be a little more diverse and of all shapes and sizes

Proper Pog
Reply to  B1Guy!
6 months ago

Lemme go enter a body building comp real quick… so that they get more shapes and sizes 💀💀

1 year ago

With all respect for Ms. Dragoi – Beauty pageants clearly have nothing to do with swimming, so is this SwimSwam news purely b/c it involves a college swimmer (and this is at least the second article on this matter)? And does that mean all “off the field” evens/accomplishments for college swimmers are swim news? Choir concerts, Dean’s List honors, impressive job offers … are those all newsworthy? I’m not trying to be snarky — I’m genuinely curious how SwimSwam makes editorial decisions about coverage.

Last edited 1 year ago by Swimgeek
Reply to  Swimgeek
1 year ago

I mean, you are trying to be snarky

Reply to  Yanyan Li
1 year ago

How is being beautiful an accomplishment?

Reply to  Kierkegaard
1 year ago

It’s not 1942 anymore. Everything evolves, even pageants. “Being beautiful” is no longer the only component of a pageant (and that’s why they’re no longer referred to as “beauty” pageants). They test intelligence, poise, public speaking, fitness, talents…those things all take work and I would consider being good at them as much of an accomplishment as being good at splashing around in a pool.

Reply to  Swimgeek
1 year ago

Clicks matter… also I like getting several articles a day on here… this isn’t the one to be complaining about.

Reply to  SCCOACH
1 year ago

I’m curious which article this is in reference to.

Reply to  Thomas
1 year ago

Not anything particular from my end, you see a lot of “why is swimswam reporting on this” comments floating around. Usually involves something political, but it doesn’t bother me. Not sure why someone would be bothered by a swimmer/pageant girl unless they are just bored and need to complain about something.

I guess if I had to stretch, I can see the side of people that seem to be bothered when there are articles about little kids (10/u) that are in the NAG rankings or getting “swimmer of the year” awards… but again I’m stretching

Reply to  Swimgeek
1 year ago

So you don’t want to see articles of former swimmers and Olympians getting married and having children either?

50M Pools Rule
Reply to  Swimgeek
1 year ago


1 year ago

Didn’t know that beauty contest was still a thing. Guess I haven’t watched TV for a while. Good for her, though, if that’s what she set out to do.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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