Being Miss Maumee Valley

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pageant Press: Miss Ohio USA and MIss Ohio Teen USA

The following two articles and photos are from the Portsmouth Daily Times :

[Scott Osborne/For the Daily Times Miss Richmond Heights Anna Melomud reacts after hearing her name announced as Miss Ohio USA 2007 at the conclusion of the competition at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts Saturday night.]

Melomud crowned
Albrecht named semi-finalist in Miss Ohio competition

Saturday, September 23, 2006 11:11 PM EDT

Anna Melomud, of Richmond Heights, became Miss Ohio USA 2007 on Saturday night at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University.

The event began at 6:30 p.m., following the Miss Ohio Teen USA pageant. The two events sold a combined 1,774 tickets, nearly doubling Friday night's sales.

The Miss Ohio pageant followed a similar format to that of its junior counterpart, beginning with a dance number led by Miss Ohio USA 2006 Stacy Offenberger.

Co-host Rob Williams, of Channel 6 News in Cincinnati, said Offenberger shares a special honor with actress Halle Berry, in that Offenberger is the first Miss Ohio since Berry to make her way to Miss USA's top five finalists. Berry was the Miss USA first runner-up in 1986, and Offenberger finished third, exactly 20 years later in 2006.

After Offenberger was introduced, the judges handed in their votes based on Friday night's performance, intending to narrow the 70 prospective candidates down to 15. However, there was a tie in the judges' voting, resulting in 16 semi-finalists. According to Wayne Allen, of the Portsmouth-Scioto County Visitors Bureau Special Events Committee, this is the first year in Portsmouth's five-year history of hosting the event that a tie has occurred.

The 16 semi-finalists were: Sarah Blanton, of Cleveland; Erin Jeffery, of Southwest Ohio; Kristen Swinehart, of Miami County; Roberta Camp, of Pickaway County; Alexis Semach, of Delaware; Meredith Driscoll, of Erie County; Leah Huhn, of Central Ohio; Angelique Verbarg, of Greater Cincinnati; Stephanie Albrecht, of West Portsmouth; Meghan Leak, of New Albany; Missy Kohut, of Canfield; Melomud; Brittany Jordan, of Chesapeake; Amanda Holzen, of Mason; Kasey Wilson, of Granville; and Chelsea Ballint, of Martins Ferry.

Following a second round of swimsuit and evening gown competitions, the judges narrowed the list to five, selecting Semach, Driscoll, Leak, Melomud and Holzen.

“I was hoping for more, but there's a reason for everything, and I was ready for that,” said Albrecht of not making the top five. “It's been surreal. I've had an amazing experience this weekend. I've had a lot of fun.”

The five finalists were challenged in the interview portion of the pageant, with questions such as “What do you consider to be a woman's top priority?” and “What is the importance of winning Miss Ohio USA?”

Before the winners were announced, judges awarded two other titles, which are open to all 70 contestants: Miss Congeniality (Meghan Leak, of New Albany) and Most Photogenic (Brittany Jordan, of Chesapeake).

With the final challenge complete, the judges left to tally their votes and returned nearly 15 minutes later, with the women's fate in their hands.

Fourth runner-up is Leak; Driscoll is third runner-up; Holzen is second runner-up; Semach is first runner-up; and Melomud took the crown as Miss Ohio USA 2007.

“Honestly, I don't remember any of it,” said Melomud of the shock of winning the pageant. “I was just so excited, and so many feelings going through your body. It's definitely exhilarating!”

This is Melomud's second pageant, and with her title as Miss Ohio USA she will work to promote breast cancer awareness while she continues to complete her degree in biology.

Melomud will now represent the state of Ohio at the 2007 Miss USA competition, which will be televised live on NBC.

[Lindsay Niegelberg/Daily Times Rachel Epperly, of Gahanna, was crowned Miss Ohio Teen USA 2007 on Saturday at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.]

Epperly named Miss Ohio Teen
Miss Portsmouth Meagan Cyrus named third runner-up

Saturday, September 23, 2006 11:12 PM EDT

The Miss Ohio Teen USA pageant concluded Saturday at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts as Rachel Epperly, of Gahanna, was crowned Miss Ohio Teen USA 2007.

The event began at 2:30 p.m. with a dance number featuring all 69 teen contestants, led by Miss Ohio Teen USA 2006 Peyton McCormick, of West Chester.

Hosts Sheila Gray and Rob Williams, of Channel 6 News in Cincinnati, introduced all the contestants, and welcomed McCormick out to offer her advice to the winner.

“To the girl who wins, work it,” said McCormick. “And to her family, let her work it, don't hold her back because she only gets this opportunity once.”

After McCormick's speech, the judges announced the 15 semi-finalists, based on judging scores from Friday night's Presentation Show.

The 15 semi-finalists were: Meagan Cyrus, of Portsmouth; Epperly; Katherine Dials, of North Bexley; Elizabeth Babicke, of Solon; Kayla Shanahan, of Perrysburg; Rachel Lee, of Anderson Township; Menaka Apana, of Indian Hill; Anna Ursu, of Sylvania; Lauren Gessner, of Canfield; Brittany Haddock, of Hilliard; Lindsay Hanson, of Dayton; Courtney Terbovich, of Trumbull County; Victoria Miller, of Delphos; Samantha Fay, of Bay Village; and Carley Schweet, of Cincinnati.

Following a second-round of swimsuits and evening gowns, the judges were dismissed to tally their voting. They retuurned to announce the top five: Cyrus, Epperly, Babicke, Hanson and Terbovich.

The five finalists were then judged in the interview portion of the pageant, with questions such as “At what age should kids be allowed to date?” and “What does success mean to you?”

Cyrus was asked by host Rob Williams, “Within the state of Ohio, where do you like to vacation, and why?”

“I like to vacation in Columbus because most of my family lives up there, and all of the shopping. I love to shop,” she replied.

After the interview portion of the show, hosts awarded two other titles, for which all 69 contestants were eligible. The awards were given for Miss Congeniality (Victoria Mihalich, of East Palestine) and Most Photogenic (Rachel Lee, of Anderson Township).

McCormick took the stage in tears once more to walk her last steps as Miss Ohio Teen 2006. Then it was time to name Miss Ohio Teen USA 2007 - Rachel Epperly claimed the crown handed down to her by McCormick.

“There are so many gorgeous girls here tonight, so when they called me for 15, I was just elated,” said Epperly, who added that it began getting “nerve-racking” when she heard her name called for the top five.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this may be a reality for me',” she continued. “Standing there waiting, holding the girl next to you's hand, it was very exciting.”

Babicke was named fourth runner-up; Cyrus was third runner-up; Terbovich was second runner-up; and Hanson was first runner-up.

“I can't even describe it, even after 15 I thought, ‘Oh, even if I don't make five, it's still great where I am right now,'” said Cyrus. “Starting out from 69 and going from 15 and then five ... and third runner-up ... it's just amazing. Especially (with this) being my first time ever being in a pageant.”

The 16-year old Cyrus says she plans to return again next year to the teen competition, but says she hasn't yet thought about competing for Miss Ohio USA when she's old enough.

Epperly's parents, Larry Epperly and Becky Cooper Epperly, of Gahanna, said they are proud of their daughter's success.

“She worked so hard. She worked out five days a week. She practiced her walking. She did everything under the sun to make it happen,” said Larry Epperly. “We're thrilled - proud and thrilled!”

Becky Cooper Epperly is a native of the Portsmouth area, where she graduated from Portsmouth High School and then from Scioto County Joint Vocational School, before she moved away in 1978.

Rachel Epperly has previously been working with the Abstinence 'Till Marriage organization, speaking to school children about the importance of remaining abstinent, and plans to use her title to expand her work with the organization.

She will now go on to represent Ohio in the Miss Teen USA competition in 2007.


  • "She practiced her walking"???

    I wish Miss Teen OH didn't have to be a right-wing abstinence-promoting moralist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:17 PM  

  • CONGRADULATIONS RACHEL!!! I think you did great and I can just imagine how excited you were when you got the crown :) I will probably see you next year i want to compete again it was a fun experience!! I just want to wish you luck for miss teen usa and have a great year girl!!
    (Akron) Andrea Gavric

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:36 PM  

  • Anonymous, interesting comments-

    I’m very liberal, but I can’t say I have too much of a problem with a teenager who encourages abstinence.

    Also, the USA system is basically a modeling contest and “everyday walking” is just not as appealing onstage, so yes, you better believe that pageant women practice and perfect their walk! :)


    It’s so great to hear how happy you are for the young woman who will be representing you at Miss Teen USA, and also that you’re planning to compete again.


    By Blogger Abby Bollenbacher, at 11:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home