Raechel Warren stunned the audience in the finals of the Miss Nebraska competition by dancing on roller skates on her way to capturing the title.

Warren entered the competition as Miss Douglas County and won the crown at the end of three nights of talent, interviews, athletic prowess, complex dances and sparkling gowns, all under the stage lights at the North Platte High School Performing Arts Theater.  

Janae Harris of Lincoln earned the Miss Nebraska Teen crown, along with a $5,000 scholarship.

Warren was presented with keys to a new Ford Mustang for her travels, donated by Wolf Auto of Ogallala, as well as gas money from Nebraskaland Bank, $10,000 in scholarships, and a monthly stipend to spend during her year’s reign.

The final evening of the competition began with the selection of the top five contestants for Miss Nebraska Teen and Miss Nebraska. 

As the names were announced, the excitement was palpable in the audience and among the contestants.

After the top five contestants were chosen, they answered on-stage questions. Miss Nebraska Teen Boston Pettera posed questions to Miss Teen competitors and Miss Nebraska Morgan Baird asked questions of the Miss Nebraska contestants.

All photos by Haylee Francisco

It was interesting to hear the plans the women had and what they wanted to accomplish. One of them said they would bring more attention to suicide prevention. Another wanted to build support for health care services for the public.

Fitness demonstrations came next. Each woman wore a red athletic outfit that represented their physical side.

It was interesting to see the different types of athletic clothes on the women and watch outgoing Miss Teen Boston Paterra and Miss Nebraska Morgan Baird perform in athletic clothes.

Throughout the evening, the emcees — JaCee Pilkington Petko, who was Miss Nebraska Teen 2009 and Miss Nebraska 2013, and her husband Michael — told enlightening stories and jokes, generating lots of laughs.

The “non-top-five” also performed during the evening. Miss Alliance Teen Madisen Meek gave a speech pointing out many aspects of a woman’s movements, expounding on the simple-sounding admonition to “Sit like a lady.”

Miss Platte River Olivia Vanderford sang the song, Standing here Standing now.

After the two girls performed, the top 5 for Miss Teen and Miss Nebraska showed their talents. They danced, played piano and sang songs. Raechel Warren blew everyone away in the crowd with her dance routine on roller skates.

Then it came down to the evening gowns. The contestants slowly walked across the stage as a prerecorded audio was broadcast, with information about them and why they selected the dresses they wore.

The finalists then answered more questions in follow-up interviews.

The Sparklers, ages 6-12, and their contestants performed two remarkably precise dances.

Near the end of the night, two Miss Congeniality winners received $250 scholarships.

They are Miss Dodge County Teen Emma Claire Fritz and Miss Panhandle Rylie Wright.

Miss teen awards:

Miss Nebraska Teen — Janae Harris of Lincoln, who received a $5,000 scholarship.

1st runner up — Clara Johnson of Douglas County, received a $2,000 scholarship.

2nd runner up — Ally Parker of Omaha, a $1,000 cash scholarship.

3rd runner up – Miss Capital City Teen Abi Howard, a $900 scholarship.

4th runner up – Miss Panhandle Teen Ella-Kathryn Anderson, an $800 scholarship.

Miss Nebraska awards:

1st runner up – Miss Omaha Alayna Wilson received a $3,500 scholarship.

2nd runner up – Miss Midwest Aubrey Grasz with a $2,500 scholarship.

3rd runner up – Miss Lincoln Phoenix Stanford with a $2,000 scholarship.

4th runner up – Miss Capital City Courtney Pelland a $1,500 scholarship.

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