By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
The closure of 2018 Nevada County Fair week saw a pair of redemption stories emerge at the festive and crowded Miss Nevada County Pageant in Prescott on Saturday night before an estimated crowd of 120 at the Potlatch Building at the Fairgrounds.
Two popular Prescott runner-ups from the 2017 pageant, Jamia Smith and Heavenly Zachary, took care of business in 2018, both looking seasoned, poised and confident in their respective competitions, and captured the top two Miss Nevada crowns.
Smith was triumphant being named the 2018 Miss Nevada County in a field of five, while Zachary won the Jr. Miss Nevada crown over seven other candidates. The overall field of contestants on Saturday saw 32 participants. Both Smith and Zachary are Prescott cheerleaders as well, and they both were Nevada representatives last year in the 2017 Southwest District pageant.
Pageant Director Stacy Jester said, “Many of these girls had come up through the local system the past few years, so I anticipated a large field, especially at top, this year. It was great to see this kind of strong field up there; these are all great girls.”
In another big field, stunning redhead Faith Steed was named Preteen Miss, outlasting a competitive field of five. In contrast, Claire Laughard was named Young Miss Nevada as the one and only contestant in that category; she succeeded Harlie Hurt.
As before, Smith and Zachary, will advance to the State Fair Queen pageant in October, while in a new twist, the entire field of runner-up’s, including first runner-ups Madison Hooks in the Miss competition and Zoe Fincher in the Jr. Miss, will advance to the Southwest District pageant in Hope later this month.
In the Miss and Junior Miss segments, contestants had a simple “Describe one word” question, where the contestants were given a random word and asked to define it.
In the Jr. Miss category, the contestants engaged in a “sportswear” competition, which the participants modeled sports wear from various sports ranging from tennis to rodeo to cheerleading. Zachary sported a stylish equestrian’s outfit, while Fincher modeled a soccer uniform.
The Miss contestants participated in the traditional swimsuit competition, with Smith stunning in an Emerald green one-piece. Smith was also named winner in that category.
Other pageant winners from earlier Saturday included: Kylee Henderson, Tiny Miss; Little Miss, Blakey Herring; Baby Miss, Harper McMahan; Infant Miss, Senora Anderson.
The complete field of participants were:
Infant: Senora Anderson
Baby Miss: Emmy Kate Morrison, Shiloh Glass, Harper McMahan
Tiny Miss: Kalli Lewis, Kylee Handerson, Madelynn Miller
Little Miss: Joshlyn Brown, Blakely Herring
Petite Miss (6-7): Carlie White, Averie Jackson, Lily Kisselburg
Young Miss (8-9): Claire Laughard
Preteen Miss (10-12): Zarah Colbert, Faith Steed, KB Carlton, EJ Burke, Dakota Kisselburg
Junior Miss (13-16): Zoe Fincher, Danielle, Hamilton, Rileigh Burke, Tori Franklin, Heavenly Zachery, Zarana Marks, Cassidy Callicott, Chloe Brown
Miss (17-21): Jamia Smith, Ashlynn Hart, Hope West, Jonay Roberts and Madison Hook