Five young women were able to get one last practice in Tuesday before heading to Seaside to compete in the Miss Oregon and Miss Oregon Outstanding Teen Scholarship Programs.
Miss Douglas County Brighid Rickman, Miss Umpqua Valley Emily Warren, Miss Central Valley Amanda Kelly, Miss Douglas County Outstanding Teen Audrey VanHouten and Miss Umpqua Valley Outstanding Teen Lena Larecy used the Riversdale Grange to practice their talents, fitness routines, and try on their new clothes.
The practices were organized by the directors of the Miss Douglas County and Miss Umpqua Valley scholarship programs. They invited at-large competitor Kelly to practice with them as she lives locally.
“They’ve been super welcoming since the beginning, it’s great,” Kelly said. It will be her first time competing.
The statewide competition will start with virtual interviews on Wednesday and end Saturday with the finals and crowning ceremony.
On Thursday and Friday, the outstanding teen candidates will showcase their talent, perform a lifestyle & fitness routine and show off their evening wear. The candidates will make a social impact pitch and hold an on-stage interview, do a red carpet walk and perform their talent on Thursday and Friday.
“I’m excited to go,” Rickman said. “There was a lot of uncertainty about whether we’d be able to go, so I’m just glad we get to go.”
Warren and Rickman have each competed at the state level before.
Rickman is looking forward to the interview portion where she has excelled in previous competitions.
“My favorite part is spending time with the other candidates,” Warren said. “They’re more supportive than I thought, and I look forward to seeing them.”
Warren is most looking forward to the talent portion in the competition, where she will sing a Lady Gaga song.
Kelly said she loves the evening gown portion because she gets to put on a fancy dress.
Roseburg’s Marin Gray is the reigning Miss Oregon Outstanding Teen and will hand over her crown and sash on Saturday.
VanHouten has been involved in the Miss Douglas County scholarship program since she was four years old, first participating as a princess before joining in the outstanding teen competitions. She has been to the Miss Oregon competitions, but never to compete.
“I’ve gained some amazing experiences and it’s fun to think about all of those, from the time I was 4 to now that I’m 16,” VanHouten said. “I’m excited to finally meet all the other contestants.”
Larecy is fairly new to the scholarship program, having competed for the first time in 2019, but she’s excited to perform her talent and hopes to stand out to the judges.
Larecy will perform a hip-hop dance routine that she hopes will set her apart in the judges’ eyes. “I like the talent portion because it gets to show off my personality,” she said.
As of Tuesday, spectators were expected to be present in Seaside.