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Courtesy of Whitney Thomas, Miss Utah Pageant

The 50 women vying for Miss Utah title

By Camilla Stimpson  |  Posted Jun 13th, 2017 @ 10:49pm


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Editor's note: Due to a personal emergency, Miss Farmington has dropped out of the contest, according to Miss Utah officials. The initial 51 contestants that were published in this article has been lowered to 50 contestants.

SALT LAKE CITY — The 81st annual Miss Utah Pageant will be held Thursday through Saturday, with the finals held at the Capitol Theatre Saturday.

The 2017 Miss Utah Pageant is the second year where the public can cast their votes online to select one of the final contestants, according to the Miss Utah public relations director Whitney Thomas. The woman with the most votes is guaranteed a spot in the top 12 finalists. Each vote costs $1 and that money will be added to the $10,000 scholarship that is awarded to the winner.

Voting will close on Thursday at 11:59 p.m. Click here to vote.

The Miss Utah Pageant is part of the Miss America Organization, which started as a swimsuit contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and then expanded to what it is today — the largest scholarship provider for women in the U.S., Thomas said.

The winner of Miss Utah will receive the $10,000 scholarship to the college of her choice, as well as wardrobe, makeup and car donations to help her with her traveling and touring after the pageant. She will also participate in September's Miss America Pageant.

Thomas said the Miss Utah Pageant stands out from "other pageant systems" because of the amount of service the women give to their community. Contestants help fundraise for the national Children's Miracle Network, as well as to build wells in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Service is a big part of the Miss Utah Pageant.

Below is a list of this year's contestants including their talent, platform and where they're from: (All photos courtesy of the Miss Utah Pageant)

Miss Lehi - Jacki Thacker

Jacki Thacker is 20 years old and this year’s Miss Lehi. Thacker has been dancing for 15 years and will be performing a jazz dance number for her talent. She is studying elementary education at Utah Valley University to become an elementary school teacher. Her platform is titled “Ready, Set, Read!” She is from Lehi and enjoys reading, dancing and napping.

Miss Eastern Utah - Lindsey Lloyd

Sandy native Lindsey Lloyd is Miss Eastern Utah. Her platform is focused on public health and is titled “Walking on Sunshine: Protect the Skin You’re In.” Lloyd is 24 years old and graduated with a degree in exercise and sports science with a minor in nutrition. She is pursuing a career as a dietitian. Lloyd has played the violin for 14 years and will play the violin for her talent. Her hobbies include swimming, triathlons, video games, trivia and anime.

Miss Sandy - Katie Ann Powell

Nineteen-year-old Miss Sandy Katie Ann Powell has been playing the harp for 13 years. Pursuing a degree in communications and in music from Brigham Young University, Powell hopes to be in public relations as well as a harpist in the future. She will be performing a harp musical number for her talent. Her platform is called “Media Detective” and is focused on education. She is from Sandy and enjoys lasso rope tricks, hiking, dancing, photography, ukulele, beatboxing and more.

Miss Greater Salt Lake - Jessica Craig

Jessica Craig from Orem is Miss Greater Salt Lake. The 21-year-old has been playing the violin for 16 years. She will be performing a self-arranged piece for the pageant. Craig is a senior at the University of Utah studying English and plans to become a lawyer. Her platform titled “Direct Service, Direct Impact: Increasing Young Adult Involvement” is focused on service. In her free time, Craig enjoys the violin, reading Jane Austen novels, singing, writing, hiking and eating pizza.

Miss Salem - Summer Christensen

Miss Salem Summer Christensen, 19, is focusing her platform on education and is titled “Funding Higher Education.” She will be performing Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt on the piano, which she has played for 10 years. Christensen is a biology major at Utah State University hoping to become a pharmacist in the future. She is from Salem and enjoys piano and CrossFit.

Miss American Fork - Mimi Peyregne

Mimi Peyregne is this year’s Miss American Fork. She is speaking on public health in her platform, “Act FAST: Stroke Awareness and Prevention.” Peyregne is 19 years old and has been singing for seven years. She will be doing a vocal performance for her talent. Peyregne is a communications student at Brigham Young University and hopes to be a business owner one day. She enjoys traveling, business, meeting new people, reading and tennis.

Miss Herriman - McKenzie Jensen

Miss Herriman McKenzie Jensen is a freshman at Utah Valley University majoring in elementary education. Jensen's platform “Don’t Let It Stick: Anti Bullying” is to help children believe in themselves and not let the words or actions of bullies affect them. She will be dancing to "I Don't Wanna Show Off" for her talent. Jensen enjoys singing, dancing and performing for others.

Miss Weber County - Shannon Stoddard

Miss Weber County Shannon Stoddard is a 19-year-old student at Weber State University from North Ogden. She is studying early childhood education to become a preschool teacher. Stoddard has been dancing for 14 years and will be performing a Bollywood dance number as her talent. Her platform is centered on public health and is called “Helping Hands: Raising Suicide Prevention and Awareness.” She enjoys dancing, doing makeup and wakeboarding.

Miss Panoramaland - JessiKate Riley

Miss Panoramaland JessiKate Riley is 20 years old and a violin performance major at Brigham Young University. She has been playing the violin for 17 years and will be playing a classical violin piece for her talent. Her platform is centered on self-esteem and is called “Find the ValYOU Within.” Riley enjoys teaching and playing the violin and being outdoors.

Miss Uintah Basin - Marinn Pearson

Eighteen-year-old Miss Uintah Basin Marinn Pearson has been dancing for 12 years. For her talent, she will be doing a contemporary dance number to the song “You Will Be Found” by Benj Pasek. Pearson will be speaking on body image in her platform titled “Let’s Get Real: Promoting Real Body Image.” She enjoys dancing, singing, reading, driving and coloring in her free time.

Miss Uintah County - Abigael Hartle

Abigael Hartle from Lapoint is this year’s Miss Uintah County. She will be doing a vocal jazz piece for her talent, something she has been working on for a year and a half. She will be speaking on her platform titled “Adoption: A Chance For Life.” She is 19 years old and is studying social work at Utah State University to become a child attorney or adoption lawyer. Her hobbies include volleyball, photography, hiking, traveling and painting.

Miss Springville/Mapleton - Alexa Knutzen

Alexa Knutzen from Mapleton is this year's Miss Springville/Mapleton. Knutzen is 19 years old and has been dancing for 15 years. She is studying ballet and communications at the University of Utah. She will be performing a Ballet en Pointe for her talent. Her platform titled “Helping Special Needs Children and Adults Through the Arts” is focused on service. Knutzen hopes to be a news anchor and then a senator in the future. Her hobbies include drawing, hiking and dancing.

Miss King's Peak - Natalie Wixom

Miss King’s Peak Natalie Wixom is a 21-year-old nursing student at Brigham Young University working to become a nurse anesthetist after college. She has been developing her talent of singing since she was 10 years old and will be singing for the pageant. Her public health focused platform is titled “Love Yourself: Healthy is for EveryBODY.” Wixom enjoys running, weight lifting, painting, boating and singing.

Miss Emery County - Maegan Butterfield

Maegan Butterfield from Orangeville is this year's Miss Emery County. Butterfield has been dancing since she was 3 years old and will be performing a contemporary jazz dance for her talent. She will also be speaking on service in her platform titled “Have Courage and Be Kind: Color Our World With Kindness.” Butterfield loves spending time with her friends and family, biking, dancing, hiking, baking and more.

Miss Orem - Arline Pascual

Miss Orem Arline Pascual is a Utah Valley University student from Provo. She is studying social work to become a probation officer in the future. The 21-year-old has been dancing for the past eight years and will be performing a Latin ballroom dance and speaking on her platform titled “Define the Line: Relationship Abuse Prevention.” In her spare time, Pascual loves running, ice skating, organizing and discovering new restaurants.

Miss UVU - Tanesha Bland

Tanesha Bland from Herriman is this year's Miss UVU. Her public safety focused platform is titled “Use Your Head, Wear a Helmet.” Bland has been dancing for 10 years and will be performing a dance number for the pageant. She is studying nursing at Utah Valley University to become a pediatric and flight nurse. Bland is 20 years old and enjoys dancing, racing and camping.

Miss Wasatch County - Miranda Bolick

Miss Wasatch County Miranda Bolick is 19 years old and from Midway. She will be speaking on public health in her platform titled “Water is Life.” Bolick will be performing the cello, which she has played for eight years. She is a premedical student at Utah Valley University hoping to become a physician’s assistant in the future. Along with playing the cello, Bolick enjoys playing the violin, rugby, tennis, painting, yoga and more.

Miss Cache Valley - Codi Alexis Smith

Codi Alexis Smith, 21, from Providence is this year’s Miss Cache Valley. She has been dancing for 16 years and will be performing a jazz dance to the song “Thumbs” by Sabrina Carpenter. She is a Utah State University student studying psychology and is pursuing a job as a school counselor or clinical mental health therapist. Smith will be speaking on self-esteem in her platform titled “Redefined Beauty.”

Miss Beaver County - Melodie Farnsworth

Miss Beaver County Melodie Farnsworth, 23, is getting ready to start a master’s degree in communications to become a school counselor or professor. Her platform is titled “Tomorrow: Suicide Awareness and Prevention.” Farnsworth will be performing a piece by Chopin on the piano for her talent. She enjoys the outdoors, rock climbing, dancing, piano, singing and sports.

Miss Deseret - Alexsys Campbell

Alexsys Campbell is from Draper and is Miss Deseret. She is 20 years old and studying theatre at the University of Utah to run her own theater in the future. Campbell’s platform is on education titled, “Don’t Lessen the Expression: Keeping Arts in Education.” She has been singing for 16 years and will be singing “Aida” by Tim Rice and Elton John. Campbell enjoys acting, singing, dancing, video games and cosplaying in her free time.

Miss Duchesne County - Chantel Townsend

Miss Duchesne County Chantel Townsend is a 21-year-old from Roosevelt. She is a business and health major at the University of Utah and aspires to help run a concrete company and teach dance. She will be doing a contemporary dance number and speaking about her platform called “Hand in Hand: Using Physical Fitness to Aid Mental Illness.” Townsend loves Utah’s diverse scenery and enjoys dance, softball, drawing and riding motorcycles and ATVs.

Miss Nebo - Lizzy Palmatier

Lizzy Palmatier from Sandy is Miss Nebo. She is 21 years old and will be speaking about “Helping Abused and Neglected Children Through Foster Care Advocacy.” Palmatier’s talent is playing the violin. She is studying violin performance at the University of Utah and hopes to one day be a violinist in the Utah Symphony. She loves working out, composing music and playing practical jokes.

Miss Spanish Fork - Jourdyn Reid

Jourdyn Reid is this year's Miss Spanish Fork and is speaking on self-esteem in a platform titled “Get up, Get Involved.” She has been developing her talent of dancing for 17 years and will be performing a lyrical dance. She is a sophomore at Utah Valley University studying business management and hopes to be an entrepreneur in the future. Reid enjoys boating, camping, hunting, shopping, reading and lifting weights in her free time.

Miss Murray - Alyse Horton

Miss Murray Alyse Horton, 23, is a public health graduate from Westminster College. Her platform is focused on public health and is titled “Use Only as Directed: Prescription Drug Abuse.” She has been developing her talent in singing for nine months and will do a vocal performance for the pageant. She enjoys hiking, camping and traveling.

Miss Hobble Creek - Kte Keetch

Miss Hobble Creek Kte Keetch is from Springville and is 24 years old. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a registered nurse and medical aesthetician at Acaydia School of Aesthetics. She will be performing on the piano and has developed this talent for a year. Keetch’s platform titled “Pornography's Destructive Effort” is centered on public health. Keetch likes to hike, play card games and watch movies.

Miss Pleasant Grove - Allison Lawrence

Nineteen-year-old Miss Pleasant Grove Allison Lawrence has been singing for 15 years and will show off her talent at the pageant. Her platform is centered on service and is titled “Caring Cures: Help Others, Help You.” Lawrence is a junior at Utah Valley University studying communications to be a public and motivational speaker one day. Her hobbies include sewing, singing, photography, watching movies, reading, horseback riding and playing the piano and ukelele.

Miss Carbon County - Madison Burrola

Miss Carbon County Madison Burrola created her education-focused platform “Mission I’mPossible: Choose Your Future” three years ago and has been working on it ever since. She is also a lyrical dancer and will be performing to “Rise Up” by Andra Day. She is studying veterinary medicine at Utah State University Eastern and hopes to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. Burrola is 18 years old and is from Price. She enjoys dancing, reading and being outdoors.

Miss Santaquin - Shaelyn Waters

Shaelyn Waters is 19 years old and this year's Miss Santaquin. Her platform subject is self-esteem and titled “Have Courage and Be Kind.” She has been studying dance for 10 years and is studying at Utah Valley University to be a dance instructor or choreographer. She will be dancing for her talent. Waters is from Santaquin and loves the outdoors. She enjoys swimming, working on cars, hiking and, of course, dancing.

Miss Pioneer Valley - Shakelle Valdez

Miss Pioneer Valley Shakelle Valdez is 23 years old and graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in business management. Her career goal is to become a certified meeting planner. Valdez has been dancing for 20 years and will be performing to a song by John Legend. Her platform is focused on education and is titled “Oh, The Places You’ll Go: Read to Succeed.” Her hometown is Riverton. Valdez loves Utah’s mountains and enjoys dancing, running and reading.

Miss Heart of Utah - Bailey Simons

Eighteen-year-old Bailey Simons from Manti is this year's Miss Heart of Utah. She has played the piano for 12 years and will be performing a piece by Rachmaninoff. She is studying chemistry at Snow College and hopes to become a chemical engineer. Her platform is titled “Save Lives, Change Lives: Organ Donation.” Simons enjoys tennis, basketball, hiking, swimming and canoeing in her free time.

Miss Kaysville/Fruit Heights - Julianne Devries

Miss Kaysville/Fruit Heights Julianne Devries is from Morgan and is 20 years old. She will be speaking on service in her platform titled “Live To Give” and will be playing the piano for her talent. She is a freshman at Utah Valley University studying business and hopes to run her own business one day. She enjoys ballroom dancing, hiking and playing the piano.

Miss Millard County - Kaybree Stephenson

Kaybree Stephenson is Miss Millard County and grew up in Delta. She is studying pre-med at Utah State University to become a dermatologist in the future. Her platform is titled “I P.L.E.D.G.E.” and she will be performing a pop violin solo. Her hobbies include cheerleading, volleyball, reading and being with her family.

Miss Utah County - Madison Tormey

Miss Utah County Madison Tormey is 21 years old and from Mapleton. As a culinary arts and business management major at Utah Valley University, Tormey hopes to own a successful bakery in the future. She will be playing the piano for her talent and speaking on public health in her speech titled “HOPEFUL - Helping Others Positively Endure Feelings of Uncertainty and Loss.” Aside from baking and piano, Tormey also enjoys traveling, snow skiing, boating and anything else outside.

Miss Riverton - Whitney Gillman

Miss Riverton Whitney Gillman is a freshman at Snow College studying secondary education to become a teacher one day. She is 19 years old and has been developing her talent of singing for 12 years. She will speak on “Fight the New Drug: The Dangers of Pornograhy.” Her hometown is St. George and she enjoys hiking, traveling, singing and wakeboarding.

Miss Draper - Sage Nielsen

Eighteen-year-old Draper native Sage Nielsen is this year's Miss Draper and will be performing a song from "Pirates of the Caribbean" on the piano, a talent she has had for 11 years. Nielsen plans on speaking about self-esteem in her platform “You-Love-You: Self-Empowerment.” She hopes to go into broadcasting and enjoys playing the piano and running track.

Miss Roy - Jessica Berenyi

Jessica Berenyi is this year’s Miss Roy and has been dancing for 18 years. She will perform this talent at the pageant by dancing to “That Man” by Caro Emerald. Berenyi is a nursing student at Weber State University and wants to be an emergency pediatric nurse in the future. Her platform titled “The Ability Beyond Disability: MDA Awareness” will focus on education. Besides dancing, Berenyi enjoys singing and working out.

Miss Rocky Mountain - Cammie Jones

Miss Rocky Mountain Cammie Jones is 22 years old from Provo. Jones has been singing for 15 years and will be performing “The Impossible Dream” by Mitch Leigh for the pageant. Her platform is focused on education and is titled “Educate to Innovate: Step up with STEM.” She is currently a senior at Brigham Young University studying genetics and biotechnology. In her spare time, Jones enjoys dancing, hiking and reading.

Miss South Jordan - Meganne Ferrel

Twenty-two-year-old South Jordan resident Meganne Ferrel is this year's Miss South Jordan. Studying microbiology at Brigham Young University, Ferrel hopes to get a doctorate of medicine. She will be speaking on education in her platform titled “Encouraging Girls in STEM.” Ferrel’s talent will be playing the violin, something she has done for 18 years. Her hobbies include traveling, reading and cheerleading.

Miss Payson - Camri Jensen

Camri Jensen is Miss Payson and is 19 years old. She is a student at Utah Valley University studying nursing to become a labor and delivery nurse. Her platform called “Love The Ones Who Came Before; Educate, Entertain and Empathize” is centered on service. She has been dancing for 11 years and will perform a dance number for her talent. Jensen is from Payson and enjoys snowboarding, wakeboarding, playing the piano and dancing.

Miss Eagle Mountain - Kaylie Blacka

Eagle Mountain native Kaylie Blacka is 21 years old. Blacka will be playing the cello and speaking about public health in her platform titled “Coping with Bullying.” Blacka enjoys running, painting and playing with her nieces and nephews and wants to be a stay-at-home mom.

Miss Timpanogos - Brynn Christensen

Miss Timpanogos Brynn Christensen is 21 years old and is from Lehi. She has played the violin since the age of 8 and will be performing the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini for her talent. Christensen will be speaking on self-esteem in her platform “Stand Up Utah: Rise Above Cyberbullying.” She is a senior at Utah Valley University majoring in public relations and hopes to be a social media marketer. Christensen’s hobbies are hand lettering, journaling, water coloring and volleyball.

Miss Washington County - Savannah Langston

Nineteen-year-old Miss Washington County Savannah Langston grew up in St. George and has been playing the violin for 10 years. She will be performing on the violin as her talent and will speak on service in her platform titled “Care to Share: It Takes All of Us.” Langston is a Southern Utah University student studying accounting and hopes to obtain a managerial accounting position in the future. Her hobbies include snowboarding, traveling, reading and shooting skeet.

Miss USU Eastern - Alexandria Burrola

Alexandria Burrola is Miss USU Eastern and is 18 years old. Her platform “The Key to Unlocking the Future” focuses on education. She is currently a pre-law student at USU Eastern and is working toward becoming a lawyer. She will be playing the piano for her talent, something she has worked on for the past nine years. She enjoys the outdoors and playing softball and piano.

Miss Sanpete County - Kaytie Nielson

Miss Sanpete County Kaytie Nielson grew up in Fairview and is 22 years old. Her platform titled “Now is the Time to be Kind” is focused on serving. She has been developing her talent of playing the piano for five years and will be performing “Fur Elise in Ragtime” by Beethoven/Ethan Uslan for the competition. Nielson is pursuing a nursing degree at Snow College and wants to become a registered nurse in a family clinic. She enjoys fishing, camping, playing the ukulele, tennis, traveling and more.

Miss Legacy 2017 - Maria Stephens

Spanish Fork native Maria Stephens is Miss Legacy 2017 and is 18 years old. She is a student at Brigham Young University and will be talking about service in her platform called “Next Generation Warriors: Empowering our Youth.” Stephens’ talent is dancing, something she has done for 15 years. She loves Utah’s outdoors and enjoys shooting, hiking, fishing and playing billiards.

Miss Davis County - Emily George

Twenty-two-year-old Miss Davis County Emily George is a nursing major at Weber State University and will be speaking on public health in a platform titled “Know your B.R.A.I.N. (Benefits, Risks, Awareness, Intellect, Necessity). She has been power tapping (a type of clogging) for 18 years and will be tapping to African drums for her talent. George’s career ambition is to become a nurse practitioner specializing in neurology. In her spare time, George enjoys piano, flute, fishing, clogging (power tap) and sleeping in hammocks.

Miss North Ogden - Navy Humphreys

Miss North Ogden Navy Humphreys is a 19-year-old engineering student at Weber State University. Growing up in North Ogden, Humphrey has been dancing for 14 years and will be doing a stylized jazz dance for her talent. Humphreys plans to speak on education in her platform titled “S.T.E.M. From Your Comfort Zone.” She wants to be the lead project director for Whiteclouds in the future. Humphreys enjoys motorcycling, hunting, hiking, kayaking and camping.

Miss Bear River Valley - Bridget Fertig

Bridget Fertig is this year's Miss Bear River Valley and grew up in Tremonton. She will be performing “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble to highlight her singing talent; a talent the 18-year-old said she has worked on her whole life. Fertig is attending Utah Valley University to earn a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene. Some of her hobbies include singing, playing the flute, kayaking and organizing.

Miss Provo - Madison Monson

Miss Provo Madison Monson grew up in Springville and is 21 years old. Her platform titled “Read to Succeed: Advocating Literacy in our Community” focuses on the importance of education. She has been working on her talent of ballet since age 2 and enjoys dancing, reading and traveling in her spare time. Monson is a marketing major at Brigham Young University and hopes to lead a marketing team in the future.

Miss Dixie State University - Kelby Morrison

Twenty-three-year-old Miss Dixie State University Kelby Morrison has been developing her talent of singing for the past 20 years and hopes to make it into a career as a professional performer. Morrison’s platform is focused on self-esteem and titled “the Social Stigma of Self-Image.” Her hometown is Oakley, Idaho. In her free time, she enjoys singing, dancing, acting, hiking, swimming and coloring.


Camilla Stimpson is a news writing intern for KSL.com and enjoys reporting on politics, crimes and her own awkward moments on 50shadesofawkward.com. When not writing, she can be found watching "30 Rock" or "Law & Order," napping, planning trips she can't afford and Googling dogs she can't have.

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