Miss Zona Rosa Carolyn Koepping, dazzled the crowd Thursday night with her skillful baton twirling. The twirling also captured the votes of the judges when she was awarded the overall preliminary talent winner.
Koepping twirled three batons at one time to "You Can't Stop the Beat."
She began twirling at the age of 5 in her driveway. "When other kids were learning to ride bikes, I was twirling," said the 21-year-old. "I still can't ride a bike, but I can twirl," she said smiling.
Miss Tri-Counties Alyssa Weissman, performed a classical piano piece to "Fantaisie-Impromptu, opus 66" and was named the rookie preliminary talent winner.
She has been playing the piano for 16 years. Weissman said she has tried for four years at local pageants to advance to the Miss Missouri Pageant, but this is her first time on the state stage. "It is amazing," said the 23-year-old from St. Louis.
Ashley Berry, 13, won the rookie evening gown competition in the Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen Pageant Thursday night. Ashley, competing as Miss Zona Rosa wore a long white gown with a chiffon skirt. The long sleeves and bodice were embellished with beads and sequins.
Ashley said she entered the pageant to help build her confidence.
Ashley is an eighth-grade student at Clinton Middle School.
While Ashley is competed her first time in the OT pageant, Miss Heartland's Outstanding Teen Audrianna Hebron, 17, competed in her last year.
"I love it," she Hebron."You make friends for life," she said.
For her evening gown, Hebron chose a two-toned gown with a light blue skirt and pale pink top accented with a beaded belt.
On Friday evening, all 30 Miss Missouri contestants competed in swimsuit preliminary competition. One winner was chosen from the Alpha group and one from the Sigma group. Winner in the Alpha group was Miss Jackson Jennifer Davis, who wore a yellow two-piece suit. Miss Fleur de Lis Katie Moeller was named the winner in the Sigma group. She wore a coral two-piece suit.
Davis said she has been working hard to tone up for the pageant. She runs two times a day and hikes each day. "This is my first swimsuit preliminary and I am overwhelmed," she said.
Moeller, was excited as well, "You don't know how hard I have worked for this," she said. This was her second preliminary of the week. On Wednesday she won overall talent preliminary.