Hannah Marie Wagner was crowned Miss Kansas at the 60th anniversary of the pageant in Pratt Saturday night at Pratt Community College. A 19-year-old Wichita State University student, she is a newcomer to the pageant.
The presumed front-runner, Wagner won a preliminary swimsuit award on Wednesday and a preliminary talent award Thursday for a ballet en pointe from Swan Lake.
The daughter of Mark and Krista Wagner, Wichita, she competed as Miss Augusta.
Runners-up were (1) Miss Metro KC Hannah Fox, (2) Miss Johnson County Jennifer Salva, (3) Miss Heartland Cassie Lohmeyer, and (4) Miss Sedgwick County Hannah Langley. Lohmeyer is also a newcomer; the other finalists have made at least one previous try for the crown and all have been previously named as semi-finalists or finalists.
Also in the Top 10 were Miss Butler County Kiah Duggins, Miss Topeka Mai-Thy Ta, Miss Capital City Jade Dowling, Miss Greater Wichita Annika Wooten and Miss Walnut Valley Kristen Boxman. Miss Hay Capital Angela Thomas was voted as Kansas’ Choice and became the 11th semifinalist.
Dowling was a first runner-up to Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen 2014 and Boxman was MKOT in 2013. Other semi-finalists are Miss Kansas pageant veterans.
More than $50,000 in scholarships was provided to contestants, with Miss Kansas receiving 10 percent of the total. Miss Kansas and runner-up scholarship providers are The Peoples Bank (through the South Central Community Foundation), First National Bank in Pratt, and Southwind Gastroenterology/Dr. Dan Suiter, First State Bank and Trust
Saturday’s pre-show began with an energetic production number by about 60 Sunflower Princesses, who participated in mentoring sessions with the Miss contestants and a scavenger hunt with the teens. They also rode in Friday afternoon’s parade.
Thirteen former titleholders in attendance were recognized and special recognition was given to Miss Kansas 1965 Debbie Bryant Berge, who became Kansas’ first Miss America for 1966.
The first Miss Kansas crowned in Pratt, Gale White Stark, gave brief remarks. (See a separate story in this edition for more information about “formers”).
About 1,600 seats on the floor and in the bleachers are available in the Lesh Arena, according to Lisa Perez Miller, president and co-executive director of Miss Kansas Pageant, Inc. board of directors. Nearly all were sold for the Saturday finals.
A special feature of the 60th anniversary pageant week was a performance by The Texas Tenors, an award-winning trio that includes J.C. Fisher, a former pageant principal entertainer who a year later proposed on stage to Miss Kansas Jennifer Vannatta (1998) as she ended her year of service. The concert was a benefit for the Miss Kansas Scholarship Foundation.