Pageant winners share their secrets to success

February 22, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND and CHRIS COPELY

Alaina Rowe was crowned Miss Washington County and Tiffany Hawbaker was crowned Miss Western Maryland on Saturday night at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater.

Rowe, 18, of Hagerstown, is a student at Hagerstown Community College and daughter of Larry and Kimberly Rowe. She sang "Deep River" for her talent and wore a white and black evening gown.

Immediately after the crowning, she said one secret to her success was not to get too worked up about the competition.


"I worked hard," she said. "I did a lot of practice with my song. But I just tried to relax and be myself on stage."

Rowe received a $2,000 scholarship, the $200 David Guessford Memorial Scholarship for leadership, gifts from local merchants and the chance to participate in the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant June 17 to 19 at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Hawbaker, 23, of Hagerstown, is a graduate student at Shippensburg (Pa.) University. She sang "No One Else on Earth" and wore a pale blue-green, sequined evening gown.

Hawbaker, a crowd favorite, has competed in the Miss America pageant system for six years. The daughter of James E. and Barbara Hawbaker, she said she had matured during her years of competition.

"My first two years, I didn't earn anything," Hawbaker said. "But it's a learning process. It's prepared me for job interviews and improved my social skills."

Hawbaker received a $2,000 scholarship, the $100 City Ballet School Award for Dance, gifts from local merchants and the chance to compete in the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant.

Danielle McGarvey, Miss Western Maryland 2003, crowned Hawbaker. Stacy Miller, Miss Washington County 2003, crowned Rowe.

Eight contestants competed for the Miss Western Maryland title, and four of those competitors - Anna Hanlin, Kathleen Lynch, Leslie Schoeck and Rowe - met the one-year residency requirement to compete for the Miss Washington County crown.

The first runner-up in the Miss Washington County pageant was Leslie Schoeck, 18, of Hagerstown, a student at North Hagerstown High School. The daughter of Ted and Teresa Schoeck, she played Frederic Chopin's "Polonaise in A Major" on piano. Schoeck received a $600 scholarship and also won the $100 Miss Washington County Quality of Life Award.

The first runner-up in the Miss Western Maryland competition was Devon Kehler, 19, of Frederick, Md., a student at Immaculata College. The daughter of Robert and Donna Kehler, she performed a lyrical dance to "My Immortal." Kehler won a $600 scholarship and a $100 scholarship to City Ballet School of Hagerstown for the dancer who earned the highest talent score.

Katie Lynch, 17, of Hagerstown, daughter of Jeri and Kevin Lynch, won the $100 Miss Western Maryland Quality of Life Award, the $2,500 Hagerstown Business College in-kind scholarship in the Miss Washington County competition and the $100 Karissa Jones Horowicz Performing Arts Award for the nonfinalist with the highest talent score. Lynch performed a color guard routine to "Tainted Love."

Britney Grabenstein, 18, of Cumberland, Md., a student at Frostburg State University, received the $2,000 Hagerstown Business College in-kind scholarship in the Miss Western Maryland contest and $100 as winner of the Nonfinalist Interview Award. Grabenstein is the daughter of Michelle and Mike Grabenstein.

All competitors received scholarships of at least $100.

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