Originally posted by The Pratt Tribune - June 8, 2012 - Photo by Gale Rose
Pratt, Kan. —After nearly a week of rehearsal and preparation, 31 Miss Kansas contestants took the stage Thursday at Pratt Community College Lesh Arena, and at the end of the show, the first preliminary awards were presented.
Sloane Lewis, (on left in photo) a junior at the University of Kansas and graduate of Norwich High School, received the silver tray for the swimsuit category, wearing a royal blue two-piece suit. In a departure from tradition, after their 90-second walk before the judges, contestants lined up on risers throughout the swimsuit competition. Although surprised by the change, Lewis said she like the change because it gave judges a second chance to see her flexing her abs.
Lewis is the 21-year-old daughter of Candice Thimesch, and says she is the first African American to graduate from Norwich High. She plans to attend law school in the fall of 2013.
A first-time competitor, she described her preparation for the pageant as mostly mental, building her self-confidence. She competed as Miss Wooded Hills.
Miss Sunflower, Angela Thomas, (on right in photo) a 2011 Top 10, preliminary evening wear and outstanding vocalist winner, received the preliminary talent award for “Chanson Boheme” from the opera “Carmen.”
From Baldwin City, she is the daughter of Susan Grimes and Frederick Thomas. She is a freshman at the University of Kansas, with a goal of obtaining a PhD in microbiology and a minor in music performance.
Preliminary awards in evening wear, combined with an on-stage question, will be revealed later in the week.
The show was co-hosted by Eugene Williams, CEO and general manager of KTWU TV in Topeka, and Pam McKelvy-Hamner, Miss Kansas 1992 and third runner up to Miss America in 1993, a former CBS affiliate anchor and “CEO of the family.”
Performing “I Am Changing” before announcing the preliminary winners, McKelvy-Hamner said she hadn’t been on stage for 10 years and most of her singing was karaoke around the house.
“My life has been a journey and I’ve grown so much as a person in the last 20 years,” she said, explaining her selection. “I’m grateful every day. I hope we all recognize so many blessings every day.”
Taking their turn on the stage were 15 Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen contestants, who will have their pageant at 2 p.m. Friday at Carpenter Auditorium, and 40 Sunflower Princesses, age 4-12.
The second preliminary show is at 7 p.m. Friday. Saturday activities begin with a 10 a.m. parade on Main Street, featuring both Teen and Miss contestants, princesses and a number of former titleholders. A pre-show begins at 7:30 Saturday night, culminating in the crowning of Miss Kansas 2012.
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