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franklin county times

Grenada Junior Miss captures prelims

By Staff
FRONT AND CENTER Lauderdale County's Junior Miss LeAnn Palmer, front, and Neshoba County's Junior Miss Tara Ryals compete in the physical fitness portion of the Mississippi Junior Miss Scholarship Program at the Temple Theater Friday night. The 2003 winner will be named tonight. Photo by Carissa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
August 3, 2002
As on opening night, 37 of the state's most talented and scholastically high achieving young ladies burst on stage Friday night in patriotic shirts and sailor hats, performing a high-energy dance routine.
Following the opening number, the young women in the Sapphire Group entertained the audience with talent performances, while those in the Diamond Group competed in fitness and then in poise.
Between the talent presentations, Natalie Pope, 2002 Mississippi Junior Miss, gave a crowd pleasing performance on the piano.
During the poise segment, contestants in the Diamond Group, dressed in white gowns, were asked, "Other than being selected Junior Miss, what single accomplishment are you most proud of and why?"
Responses included from participating in Mississippi's Governors School, being part of a Christian music trio, volunteering at Special Olympics and serving others while being part of civic organizations.
During the poise segment, which counts 15 percent of each contestant's total score, judges consider the elements of grace, poise under pressure, ability to communicate effectively, grooming and naturalness in posture and carriage.
Following entertainment by performer and Meridian native Renee Busbee Baldwin, preliminary winners were announced in four categories, including:
Poise
Caroline McNeel, Winston County.
Jayme Robertson, Madison County.
Kristian Dambrino, Grenada County.
Beth Finch, Clinton.
Talent
Caroline McNeel, Winston County.
Rachael Deen, Meridian.
Kristian Dambrino, Grenada County.
Jenny Howell, Pascagoula.
Scholastic
Rachael Deen, Meridian.
Michelle Coleman, Pearl River County.
Kristian Dambrino, Grenada County.
Beth Finch, Clinton.
Preliminary winners in fitness were:
Mandy McGrevey, Newton County.
Daveta Gross, Forrest County.
Jayme Robertson, Madison County.
Michelle Coleman, Pearl River County.
For Amy Deen, mother of Meridian's Junior Miss Rachael Deen, tonight's performance was just another in a long line of accomplishments for her daughter.
Lauderdale County Junior Miss' mother, Virgie Palmer, also believes her daughter, LeAnn, has made lifelong friends.
Tonight marks the final evening of competition and will culminate with the announcement of overall winners in each category and the naming of the 2003 Mississippi Junior Miss. The program will begin at 8 p.m. at the Temple Theatre.
Did you know?
Thirty-seven teen-age girls from around the state are competing for the title of Mississippi's Junior Miss and a share of $23,000 in college scholarships.
One talented young woman will walk away with the title of 2003 Mississippi's Junior Miss and a $5,000 cash scholarship to use at the college or university of her choice.

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