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21-year-old wins Western Maryland pageant

March 15, 1997

By KATE COLEMAN

Staff Writer

HANCOCK - Julie LaPole was crowned Miss Western Maryland 1997 before a crowd of about 200 at Hancock High School Saturday night.

LaPole, a 21-year-old biology student at Coastal Carolina University, performed Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer'' on the clarinet.

She is the daughter of William and Tina LaPole of Hagerstown.

"I feel wonderful," she said immediately after she was crowned. "I'm exhausted, but I'm really looking forward to the coming year.''

LaPole won a $900 scholarship and the chance to compete in the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant June 26-28 at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

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Ten contestants competed for the crown.

First runner-up was Amanda Hartman, 20, of Hagerstown, a student at Hagerstown Junior College. The daughter of Beverly Hartman and Franklin Hartman, she performed a baton twirling routine to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B'' during the talent competition.

She received a $300 scholarship.

The second runner-up award went to Miriam Whiteaker of Hagerstown, the daughter of Brent and Colleen Whiteaker. She is a 17-year-old student at Williamsport High School.

During the talent competition, she performed a ballet en pointe. She received a $150 scholarship.

Third runner-up was Jennifer Gesell of Hagerstown, a 19-year-old student at Hagerstown Junior College. She is the daughter of Teresa and Gene Dayhoff and Randy and Katrina Gesell. She sang "Big Spender'' from "Sweet Charity" during the talent competition and won a $100 scholarship.

The theme for Saturday's pageant was "Broadway Nights." Buddy Rizer, a Washington, D.C., radio personality, was the master of ceremonies.

Performers included Miss Western Maryland 1996 Laura Joyce Stiner - who presented LaPole with her crown - and Miss Maryland 1996 Susan Alexander.

Three special awards were also handed out. Maria Ann Vidas won a $100 scholarship sponsored by the Stiner family.

Vidas and Sarah Strawderman tied for the Karissa Jones Performing Arts Award.

Vidas and Melissa Nelson tied for the Karissa Jones Excellence in Interview Award.

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