Martinsburg teen named Berkeley County Fair royalty

August 02, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - With her long blond hair, outgoing personality and perfect smile, Casey McDonald seems like she would be a natural for pageants.

She doesn't think so.

"I just never thought I'd go any higher (than fourth runner-up). I'm not very girlie. I'm a country girl," said McDonald, 18, of Martinsburg, who was crowned the Miss Berkeley County Youth Fair queen after a two-hour program Monday evening.

McDonald finished as the contest's fourth runner-up last year.

Julianne Frye finished as the first runner-up and will assume McDonald's duties as queen if needed.

Natalie Wenck finished as the second runner-up, Courtney Kilmer finished as the third runner-up and Krista Shepherd finished as fourth runner-up.


Overall, 23 young women competed in the pageant, which had as its theme "Sunsation Vacation." Tropical fish cutouts, beach balls, sand toys, a sand castle and a grass hut-type of stand decorated the stage.

After whittling the panel to 10 semifinalists and five finalists, each of the five was asked the same question by emcee Michael T. Myers: "If you were chosen as our Miss Youth Fair queen, you may be asked to speak to other organizations and youth groups. What example might you tell them of what makes our Berkeley County Youth Fair so sunsational?"

McDonald said the fair is sensational because past, present and future generations can be seen in the fair and exhibits.

McDonald said after the pageant that she entered a market steer, four Holstein cows, vegetables, apple pie, and hay and feed exhibits.

A Hedgesville High School graduate, McDonald will attend Shepherd University this fall, where she plans to major in biology and minor in chemistry. She said she hopes to eventually enroll in Virginia Tech's veterinary medicine program and become a large animal veterinarian.

McDonald had previously vowed never to enter the pageant, but was talked into it last year. Before last year's pageant, as she pulled down her dress while getting out of a pickup truck, she stumbled and hit her elbow on a tow hitch.

She fractured her elbow and had bruises during the pageant, but decided to re-enter this year.

McDonald's sister, Shelby, 11, was telling anyone who would listen that she deserves the credit for her sister's victory.

Anyone with a younger sibling can empathize with Casey as Shelby good-naturedly teased and battered her.

"Casey, Casey, there's no crying!" Shelby yelled as her older sister posed for photographs after winning.

"Casey, can you see?" she queried after several flashbulbs popped.

To a reporter, she said she had predicted the win.

"Yeah, I was like, 'You're going to be that one year,' and she said, 'No,'" Shelby said.

Shelby said that it's only a matter of time before she herself is crowned the fair's queen.

"When I'm about her age," she said, gesturing to her older sister.

Others who entered the pageant were Candace Minghini, Ilene Funk, Megan Penwell, Ashley Banks, Jessica Monroy, Mary Richard, Autumn Yebernetsky, Nicole Sencindiver, Jordan Shultz, Amy Cutlip, Katie Aberegg, Ashley Anderson, Brittany Young, Jennifer Price, Tasha DeHaven, Rebecca Knighten, Amanda Raney and Tristan Wilson.

The Evelyn Talbott Community Service Award was presented to Brittany Young, with a special award also bestowed on past winner Ilene Funk for her continued community service.

Jessica Monroy won the pageant's Miss Congeniality award.

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