Taylor Blackwell is third in teen contest, Katelyn Lewis crowned Miss Missouri

After months of preparation and a week of intense rehearsals and competition, Katelyn Lewis has been crowned Miss Missouri 2018.

Lewis, from Lake St. Louis, previously held the title of Miss Fleur De Lis. Her platform is “Your Digital Compass,” which focuses on leaving a positive footprint online. This is her fourth year competing for the title.

“I’m just really blessed and happy and humbled to be here with my whole family and directors,” she said. “I feel like so many people have followed me on this journey and I can honestly not believe what just happened. This is amazing. I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and hit the ground running.”

Lewis will begin preparations for the Miss America pageant this week with meetings, official photography sessions and other obligations. In addition to the official prize package, Lewis will receive a $13,000 college scholarship.

She will compete for the title of Miss America 2019 from Sept. 5-9 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A Northeast Missouri teen placed second in the Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen contest, held Friday night. Taylor Blackwell, of Frankford, placed third. She competed as Miss Audrain’s Outstanding Teen. Taylor is a student at Bowling Green High School. Her platform is Readers Are Leaders and she sang for the talent portion of the competition. 

Ashley Whipple of Chesterfield was crowned Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen 2018. Whipple will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an official prize package.

Whipple said she was “speechless.”

“I learned that you can’t control what happens,” she said. “For me it was all about just being the best person I can be and showing the judges who Ashley Whipple is, and it apparently worked!”

The top five contestants for the title of Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen 2018 were: fourth runner-up, Miss Metro St. Louis’ Outstanding Teen Lauren Vanlandingham; third runner-up, Miss Springfield’s Outstanding Teen Shae Smith; second runner-up, Blackwell; and first runner-up, Miss Northwest’s Outstanding Teen Faith Whatley-Blaine.

Whipple will travel to Orlando in July to compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.

In total, more than $50,000 was awarded to contestants throughout the pageant.