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Fair queen looks forward to her reign

August 28, 2012
By Katie Kuba - Senior Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Lynnlee Wileman is ready to reign over the Randolph County Fair.

Wileman, 19, was crowned Miss Randolph County Fair Saturday during the 2012 Miss and Miss Teen Randolph County Fair pageant, which took place in Hammer Hall at Camp Pioneer in Beverly. Wileman, a Beverly native, is the daughter of Becky and Chris Weese and Gary and Melissa Wileman of Beverly.

The sophomore at Davis & Elkins College said her favorite part of the fair - slated for Sept. 6-9 - is bound to be mingling with the mix of people who will attend.

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Angie Pritt
Miss Randolph County Fair Queen participants are all smiles after the Randolph County Fair Queen and Teen Queen pageant at Hammer Hall in Camp Pioneer.

"My favorite part will probably be getting the opportunity to have people come up to me and being able to meet everybody," said Wileman, a nursing major. After all, standing in the spotlight wasn't something Wileman was anticipating.

"I was really excited because I wasn't expecting to win," she said. But - as she told pageant judges during her on-stage interview when they asked about the best advice she'd ever received - "Anything that's imagined can be achieved."

Fourteen-year-old Natasha Ray of Elkins took the crown in Teen division. Ray is the daughter of Daniel and Jodi Ray of Elkins.

Wileman won the coveted crown out of a field of nine contestants for queen, and Ray shone the brightest among the five contestants who competed in the teen category.

Pageant Director Chrissy Harper said the days leading up to the pageant were a blur - but the hard work was well worth it.

"I think the pageant was a success," Harper said Monday. "We had a good turnout and a good group of ladies who participated in the pageant. They all did a great job, and I'm very proud of all of them."

Harper said she looks forward to Wileman's and Ray's reigns over the Randolph County Fair - in addition to seeing how Wileman will fare at the 2013 West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals Pageant in January 2013.

In the queen division, Taylor Brooke Gadd played second fiddle to Wileman, snagging the first runner-up spot. Sixteen-year-old Gadd is a junior at Elkins High School and the daughter of Mike and Tracy Gadd of Beverly.

Judges named Brooke McCollam, 16, second runner-up; and Katie Marie Stalnaker, 17, third runner-up. A junior at EHS, Collam is the daughter of Jim McCollam and Joan Miller of Elkins. Stalnaker is a senior at EHS and the daughter of Kathryn and Wilson Stalnaker of Beverly. Stalnaker also won best exhibit for her Randolph County Fair-themed quilt.

Seventeen-year-old Emily McAtee, a senior at EHS, showed she had the best smile for snapshots, garnering the Miss Photogenic award. McAtee is the daughter is Paul and Louise McAtee of Beverly. Meanwhile, Katelyn Marie Harris, 16, had the friendliest face and demeanor in judges' opinions, winning the designation of Miss Congeniality. Harris is a senior at EHS and the daughter of Timothy and Leesa Harris of Montrose.

Other contestants in the queen division included Maria Lewis, 19, of Beverly; Summer Thompson, 17, of Elkins; and Sara Weiford, 16, of Elkins.

In the teen division, Kiana Kali-Nicole Hartman, 14, earned the first runner-up spot in addition to the Miss Photogenic award and Best Exhibit award for her apple pie and accompanying display.

Hartman is a freshman at EHS and the daughter of Joe and Cherie Howell of Bolt and granddaughter of Jim and Corrine Hartman of Elkins. Thirteen-year-old Morgan Lynn McCollam grabbed the second runner-up slot. An eighth-grade student at Elkins Middle School, McCollam is the daughter of James McCollam and Joan Miller of Elkins.

Elizabeth Zirkle, 13, collected third runner-up laurels in the teen division, while Catherine Mallory Brake, 15, was named fourth runner-up and Miss Congeniality. Zirkle is a freshman at EHS and the daughter of Kathie and Danny Staten and Jason Zirkle of Elkins. A sophomore at EHS, Brake is the daughter of Timothy and Edie Brake of Elkins.

Teen and queen contestants vied for top honors in three areas - a streetwear competition, an evening gown competition and on-stage interviews.

Dub Campbell emceed the event, and Jocelyn Stout of Clarksburg performed for attendees, providing entertainment for the evening. Gina Corley, Heather Mullins and Shawna Murphy served as pageant judges.



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