Cole chosen to represent Marengo County

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; After six weeks of practice and preparation, 11 high school hopefuls competed this past Saturday for the title of Marengo County Junior Miss. Cathryn &8220;Catie&8221; Cole walked away with top honors.

Cole said she was in total shock when her title was announced.

Cole attributes her great experience to working with the other competitors.

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When asked about the impending state competition &8212; set to take place in Mobile on Jan. 18-19, Cole said she was excited.

Cole walked away with $3,600 in scholarship money. She won $2,000 for the overall win; $600 for first in Fitness; $600 for first in Self expression and $400 for second in academics. She plans to attend UAB and seek a double major in science and theater. Catie is the daughter of Dr. Lyle and Becky Cole.

The first alternate winner was Brittany Ward, the daughter of Bill and DeDe Ward, who also won alternate prizes in self-expression and talent. She won a total of $2,300.

The second alternate was Katie Reeves, the daughter of Stan Reeves and Jody Allen, who won the scholastic achievement award. She won a total of $1,600.

Amanda Howerton, the daughter of Bob and Lessie Howerton, won the talent award of $600.

Sarah Bradford, the daughter of Henri and Jan Bradford, was alternate winner in fitness and won $400.

Dakota Callicott, the daughter of Don and Tammy Callicott, was awarded the Spirit of Junior Miss award, worth $1000. This award is voted on by the contestants, who considered Dakota to be the individual who best represented what Junior Miss is all about &8212; being your best self.

According to Bishop, the pageant consists of an individual panel evaluations, review of their scholastic achievements, a presentation of the creative and performing arts, speaking on stage and a physical fitness routine performed on stage. The contestants practiced once a week for the past six weeks, and every night last past week.

The central focus of awards at every level is scholarships, Bishop said. The national program awarded over $100,000 in scholarships last year. Throughout the United States, 215 colleges and universities support the America&8217;s Junior Miss Program with scholarships to local, state and national participants.

Locally, the Marengo County Junior Miss program generated $9,500 in scholarship money through donations from various businesses, organizations and individuals throughout Marengo County.

The committee members are Donna Bishop, Katie Echols, Dana Freeman and Betsy Coplin.

Choreography was provided by Margie Walker, Marengo County&8217;s Junior Miss for 1998, and entertainment was provided by Kelly Kirkham, Marengo County&8217;s Junior Miss for 1985.

For the state competition, Cole will spend ten days in Montgomery learning her routines and getting to know the other girls. She will have hours of exercise every day and special appearances during the week. The culmination of her efforts will take place on Jan. 18 and 19, during the preliminary and final performances.

The state winner will travel to Mobile in June to take part in the annual America&8217;s Junior Miss National Finals.