Posted 11 months ago
By John Axtell
The Miss Nebraska Pageant in North Platte gets real tonight with the first of 2 nights of preliminary competition for the 16 contestants, leading up to Saturday night’s finals.
Miss American 2011 Teresa Scanlan of Gering and North Platte civic leader Hans Julius will host the two nights of preliminary contests.
As a part of the Miss America system, the contestants are judged in 5 categories: talent, judges interview, evening gown, swimsuit-physical fitness, and on-stage question.
Half of this year’s field is from the Panhandle or representing area pageants…including Miss Northwest Megan Dimmitt of Alliance, who received the Hastings Princess Memorial Scholarship for community service at Sunday’s opening ceremonies.
This is the third time at Miss Nebraska for Dimmitt, who graduated from Chadron State College last month, and she’s been looking forward to it with an almost completely relaxed attitude because she’s been there before.
“The more you’re in it, the more you understand what to be prepared for. My first year, chaos. Second year, felt much more comfortable. This year, I feel like I’ll just go in and it will just be a breeze and I’ll be able to enjoy the experience.”
Dimmitt won the Miss Northwest Talent last fall in Chadron and has been working since then to polish her strengths and improve what she sees as her weaknesses…with the later including the use of a personal trainer.
“My talent is a huge strength of mine, and my interview, definitely. The swimsuit area is my least favorite, and that’s probably my weakest area as well, so I’ve been working my booty off with (personal trainer) Mary Landon downtown.”
The other Miss Nebraska contestants who won Panhandle pageants are Miss Alliance Kiya Stack of Chadron, Miss Scottsbluff County Morgan Yost, and Miss Western Nebraska JaCee Pilkington of Bayard while Scottsbluff’s Jessica Littlejohn is Miss Crane Festival.
Non-Panhandle women holding Panhandle titles are Miss Chadron Meghan Thalken of North Platte, Miss Panhandle Chrissy Townsend of Omaha, and Miss Gering Kaylee Carlberg of Sargeant Bluff, Iowa, and Southeastern Community College.
Saturday afternoon, before the Miss Nebraska finals, it’s the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant where 7 of the 12 contestants having area ties or hold local titles.
Area residents include Miss Alliance OT Mikaela Hastings of Chadron, Miss Western Nebraska OT JaLee Pilkington of Bayard, Miss Gering OT Brittli Sell of Scottsbluff, and Miss Northwest OT Holly Walker of Gering.
Local titleholders from outside the Panhandle are Miss Panhandle OT Shelbe Stroh of Omaha, Miss Chadron OT Alex O’Connor of Keystone, and Miss Sandhill OT Mariclaire Prill of Holdrege…younger sister of the reigning Miss Nebraska OT.