SYRACUSE — “It feels great. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to represent not only my home town, but surrounding counties. I’m so excited. It’s just a great feeling.”
Those were the thoughts of Katelin Vogel, 21, Wabash, who was crowned the 2017 Miss Kosciusko County Saturday evening, Jan. 14, at Wawasee Middle School. “I was first runner up last year to Siera Updike, very well deserving, so this year it just feels great to be back, enjoy the atmosphere … I’m glad I came back. It just worked out.”
Vogel is the daughter of Tim and Kerry Vogel and a student at IPFW.
The new Miss Outstanding Teen is Malala Pashea, 16, daughter of Jason and Kristy Pashea, Avilla.
First runner-up in the Miss Kosciusko competition is Tori VanDiepenbos, 20, daughter of Jeff and Joy VanDiepenbos. She attends IPFW majoring in hospitality and management.
In the Miss Outstanding Teen contest, second runner up is Hanna Malaise, 16, Spencerville, and first runner up is Kiera Hilts, 14, Newburgh.
Kala Bailey, 16, Milford, received the People’s Choice award for the Miss Outstanding Teen. Mikayla Findley, 19, South Whitley, was named the People’s Choice winner for Miss Kosciusko. The People’s Choice winners were chosen based on the contestant raising the most money.
The evening pageant for the outstanding teen competitors included an active wear and fitness demonstration, talent and evening wear. Each contestant was asked an on-stage question. For Pashea, her questioned focused on her thoughts of drug testing all students in high school. Pashea responded “I think that the high school should be able to drug test all students to make sure that kids are in a healthy direction and that they are willing to live a fulfilling life.”
For Miss Kosciusko contestants, the pageant included swimsuit, talent and evening wear competitions. These contestants were also asked an on-stage question. For Vogel, her question dealt with the four points of the crown: Scholarship, service, style and success. She was asked which one was the most important to her and why.
Vogel responded “The most important one would be service to me. I think it is so important that as a title holder, that you go out and speak about your platform and also raise awareness to it … to let them know what your giving to them and what you’re willing to stand for. That’s the most important thing you can have as a title holder.”
The talent for the evening ranged from various types of dancing, singing, violin playing and a demonstration by all contestants.
Prior to the naming of this year’s winners, Emma Tarkington, Miss Kosciusko County’s Outstanding Teen 2016 and Siera Updike, Miss Kosciusko County 2016, recapped their experiences in the state competition and what the year had been like for them. They also gave impromptu speeches, thanking those who supported them during the competition.
Vogel received $750 and VanDiepenbos received $400. Findley, as People’s Choice winner, received $50.
Pashea received $75. As first runner-up, Hilts also received $75 and as second runner-up, Malaise received $50. Bailey received $50 as People’s Choice winner.