Moeller, Ringdahl, Mandoli chosen preliminary winners Thursday night

Night two of the Miss Missouri Pageant on the Missouri Military Academy campus saw another round of preliminary wins in evening wear and talent.
Winners Thursday night included Miss Maryville, Katie Moeller, winner of the Erika Hebron Rookie Talent Award, and Miss Springfield, Shelby Ringdahl, was the overall Talent winner. Miss Metro St. Louis, Tess Mandoli was the winner of the Outstanding Teen Evening Gown competition.
Miss Missouri 2009 Tara Osseck served as emcee for the evening.
Outstanding Teen contestant Tess Mandoli won the judges' support wearing a form-fitting, white and antique gold gown. This is the 15-year-old's third year in the Outstanding Teen program and she said she looks forward to her chance to compete for Miss Missouri in the future.
"I am so surprised and I feel so blessed and honored," Mandoli said about her win. "I've been working so hard for this and I actually got to wear my very favorite evening gown. I've never had one like this and I'm absolutely in love with it."
However, she added, "I am so surprised that I won, I wasn't expecting it and I am so humbled by it."
Miss Maryville, Katie Moeller – a first-time contestant to the Miss Missouri stage – has been in only three pageants and considers herself lucky to have been selected to receive the Rookie Talent Award.
"I am so flattered and surprised," Moeller said while standing in the winning spotlight, being photographed. "I've been treated so kindly by all these girls and by the pageant families. I'm just so happy."
Moeller played the violin for her talent, and the song she chose was "Concerto in E Minor, Movement 1." Her platform is empowering disabled children, focusing on the positive.
"No matter how much time it takes, I never give up on my goals, even if it can seem impossible," Moeller said in her biography in the pageant book. "The one word that best describes me is vivacious."
Her female role model in American history is Eleanor Roosevelt, who according to many was the most controversial first lady in U.S. history.
"I am inspired by her endless drive to not only improve her country, but also the lives of the people within it," Moeller said.
Miss Springfield Shelby Ringdahl, a graduate of Texas Christian University, holds a BFA in Musical Theater, and being selected the preliminary talent winner, she said, is "quite rewarding."
"It's an honor to win a preliminary award, especially being a performer myself. To get out there and the judges like it, is just very humbling and an overwhelming joy," Ringdahl said. This is her second year on the Miss Missouri stage. The 21-year-old plans to perform on Broadway and do charity work in the future.
Ringdahl is a Rock Bridge High School graduate, whose platform is helping abused children find safety and discover love. The one word that best describes her, Ringdahl said, is "well-rounded." Her role model in American history is Jackie Kennedy.
"Not only does she remind me of my wonderful grandmother, but she was an incredibly well-rounded woman. She was the epitome of class, an incredibly motivated philanthropist, intelligent, cultivated and she overcame a great hardship with poise and grace," Ringdahl said.
This year, the Miss Missouri Pageant board is incorporating the Duke of Edinburgh Award — a non-competitive, self-development program for youth, ages 14-25. Introducing the international award was Josh Randle, the executive director of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Giving a brief history of the award that was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness Prince Philip (the Duke of Edinburgh), Randle said "This award is given to engage young people to try new things. Next year, we plan to have an award given on the Miss Missouri stage, and I look forward to a long history with the pageant. "
The Maryville Dance Academy Dancers performed on stage to "Stand By Me," and the winner of the Taste of Mexico event was announced. The winner, Michelle Janorschke, with the Miss Branson Local Pageant Board, won $500 for her board. Twelve local businesses took part in the event.
Tonight the Miss Missouri contestants will model swimsuits and the 2013 Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen will be announced. The pageant begins at 7 p.m.
The final competition and the crowning of Miss Missouri 2013 will be Saturday. The Miss Missouri Pageant is a preliminary to Miss America, which will be held in Atlantic City in September.