Local teens compete in Miss Siouxland

Posted 7/20/23

Forestburg teen first runner-up, Huron teen Miss Congeniality and Newcomer Award

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Local teens compete in Miss Siouxland


Twenty candidates ages 13-28 from across South Dakota competed in the Jeschke Fine Arts building at the University of Sioux Falls for the chance to serve South Dakota through one of the six titles awarded during the Miss Siouxland Competition.

As part of the Miss America Organization, it is a local preliminary for the Miss South Dakota Organization and a part of the world’s largest scholarship provider for women.

Each delegate also participated in a “Heart Walk” promoting the American Heart Association — the National Partner of the Miss America Organization.

Each of the candidates submitted both a fact sheet and community service initiative outlining their goals and roles in helping their local communities and our state in ways that interest and empower them.

Community Service Initiatives ranged from understanding local ecology to child sexual abuse awareness, to promoting the benefits of Career and Technical Education.

After competing in a private interview, on stage interview, evening gown, talent and health and fitness in activewear, Maleah Eschenbaum, 23, of Aberdeen was crowned Miss Siouxland, Joelle Simpson, 19, of Rapid City was crowned Miss Rolling Plains, and Breanna Bossman, 21, of Humboldt was crowned Miss Sioux Falls. Julia Stanek of Sioux Falls was awarded first runner- up and won Miss Congeniality as well.

Each new titleholder is awarded $1250 in scholarship. The first runner-up was awarded $500. Red Carpet winner was Maleah Eschenbaum and Top Talent went to Kate Stahl of Canton.

The Newcomer Award of $500 was presented to Megan Greenspan of Rapid City. People’s Choice winner was MeKayla Weber of Sioux Falls.

In the teen division, the young women competed in a private interview, onstage question, evening gown, talent, and health and fitness in activewear.

Evian Johnson, 15, of Brookings was crowned Miss Siouxland’s Teen. She garnered a $500 scholarship and the Top Evening Gown Award of $50. Amelie Wilcox, 17, of Rapid City was crowned Miss Rolling Plains’ Teen, earning a $500 scholarship along with the Top Talent Award of an additional $100. Paxtyn Moller, 14, of Alcester was crowned Miss Sioux Empire’s Teen and awarded a $500 scholarship.

The first runner-up was awarded to Jerica Ratigan of Frankfort, winning a $150 Award. Miss Congeniality was bestowed upon Modesty Heath of Huron. Modesty was also awarded the Newcomer Award — earning an additional $200.

In total, over $7,000 in scholarships and awards were given. Each of these newly crowned titleholders will go on to compete at the Miss South Dakota and Miss South Dakota’s outstanding Teen competition in Brookings in June 2024.