Locals compete in Miss North Carolina competition

HIGH POINT — Miss North Carolina was crowned in High Point Saturday along with Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen. Karolyn Martin, of Boone, will represent North Carolina at Miss America, and Kerrigan Brown, of Spivey’s Corner, will compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.

The Miss America competition, traditionally held in Atlantic City, will be held at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut for the third year in a row. The teen competition will be held in Dallas. 

The Miss North Carolina competition featured 57 candidates from across North Carolina in the Miss and Teen categories. The 11 finalists in the Miss North Carolina competition were awarded $66,000 in scholarships, and High Point University offered each of the 57 candidates a $1,000 scholarship to attend the university. Finalists could receive up to $10,000 per year in scholarships from High Point if they met certain GPA and testing thresholds.

Carli Batson of Wilmington completed her year as Miss North Carolina and passed the crown to Martin Saturday. Batson is a recent graduate of Appalachian State University, where she was captain of the dance team. She is returning to her hometown of Wilmington after completing her reign as Miss North Carolina.

“It has been my greatest pleasure and largest honor to serve,” said Batson in a statement. “This year has been my largest year of growth, and none of that would have been possible without the unending, boundless support of my team and village that have guided me every step of the way.”

Harley Tilque, the outgoing teen, will attend the University of Alabama in the fall, where she has earned a spot on the dance team.

Several local candidates were part of the competition. Josie Perdue, a student at Southwestern Randolph High School, was first runner-up in the teen competition. Perdue competed as Miss Thomasville’s Outstanding Teen in this year’s competition, having previously represented Randolph County last year. A dancer, Perdue performed an acrobatic lyrical dance to “Voice of God” in the talent competition. Miss Randolph County’s Outstanding Teen, Alyssa Millikan, is a student at Uwharrie Charter and sang “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” in the talent competition. Reese Martin of Asheboro competed at Miss Asheville’s Outstanding Teen and performed a tap-dancing routing the talent competition.

Perdue was a preliminary talent winner ahead of the competition finals. Andi Creech of Sampson County was the other preliminary talent winner. Brown, the teen winner, won a preliminary award for evening gown and onstage question along with Madison McVey of Cleveland. Perdue also won the Community Service Award along with Moore County’s Colleen McDermott.

“Any girl up there was deserving of the title,” said Perdue after the competition. “I am humbled to have gotten first runner-up. Congratulations, Kerrigan.”

Miss Randolph County, Lauryn Mallard of Advance, was third runner-up to Miss North Carolina. The Miss Randolph County pageant allows candidates from surrounding counties to compete for the crown. Mallard is a graduate of UNC Greensboro and plans to attend medical school. She is a published author and advocates for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Mallard performed a lyrical dance to “I Have Nothing” in the talent competition.

“Last night was a dream,” said Mallard Sunday after the competition. “A year ago, I genuinely could not picture myself competing for the title of Miss North Carolina. I have grown in my confidence, ability to speak to others and continued to serve our great state.” Mallard’s first pageant was the Miss Randolph County competition last year.

By Randolph Record