“I just tried to be myself throughout the pageant,” said Clay High School's Casey Stapleton.
Winning the pageant took a lot of hard work for Stapleton over the summer.
“I practiced my walk because I always bounce too much,” she said. “And I had to make sure my talk was slow enough, and we've quizzed me on questions and things like that.”
First runner-up was Courtney Haller, of Wheelersburg High School.
Annie Glockner, of Portsmouth High School, was second runner-up, with Glenwood High School's Megan Keaton being name Miss Congeniality.
The question-and-answer session was the most difficult part of the pageant for Stapleton.
“I was asked how we could bring down the teen suicide rate,” she said. “And if I could be any pair of jeans, what pair of jeans would I be? And I was asked what advice I could give to a middle-school student about peer pressure.”
What advice would she give them?
“I would tell them to be true to their self and to choose their friends wisely,” Stapleton said. “Because true friends never make you do anything that you don't want to do.”
Despite the hard work, Stapleton said she enjoyed her pageant experience and met some new friends.
“We (contestants) met for the first time in March,” she said. “And we've been together ever since.”
For the coming year, Stapleton said she wants to set an example for young girls and to teach them to be true to themselves.
“I just want to be nice to everyone and interact with everyone I meet,” she said.
Stapleton will also be going to 22 festivals in the coming year, including this week's Wellston Coal Festival.
Stapleton was not the only winner on Saturday.
Claire Patrick of Clay was named the Tiny Miss River Days Queen and Valley's Haley Whitt was named princess.
The new Little Miss River Days Queen is Clay's Shaelyn Vassar, with Wheelersburg's Olivia Logan and Portsmouth's Alandria Worthen named princesses.
Brooklyn Thompson is the 2007 Junior Miss River Days Queen.
Tori Ruggles from West Portsmouth is the first attendant and Erica Riley of Green Township is the second attendant.
That pageant had a Miss Congeniality winner, which was Wheelersburg's MacKenzie Vanderpool.