Wheelersburg native crowned Miss Ohio Teen USA


By Kasie McCreary - [email protected]



Miss Ohio Teen USA 2022, Kylan Darnell, was crowned at the VRCFA on May 21. The Wheelersburg native will now advance to the national competition.

Miss Ohio Teen USA 2022, Kylan Darnell, was crowned at the VRCFA on May 21. The Wheelersburg native will now advance to the national competition.


Darnell knows that the journey ahead will lead to bonding with other contestants and supporters. “I just want to be that friendly sunshine face that anyone can walk up to. I want to make them feel more comfortable. I’m just so excited for this journey that I have,” she says.


PORTSMOUTH—The Vern Riffe Center for the Arts had a brush with royalty last weekend and a new Miss Ohio Teen USA was crowned.

Kylan Darnell, from Wheelersburg, will now represent the state in the upcoming Miss Teen USA Pageant. After a long road of competition, Darnell said that when her name was called as the winner, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“It’s honestly crazy. Those were words that I never thought I would hear. It was just instant joy; all of the work I’ve put in over the last three years was instantly worth it,” Darnell said.

Though Darnell shared she’s competed in pageants for most of her life, the Miss Teen USA Pageant is held in especially high regard by the local teen.

“I have done pageants since I was a little, little girl. This one just means so much to me. I feel like I was able to mature through the system and figure out little things about myself,” Darnell said. “When everyone found out that it was going to be in Portsmouth, it was like a full circle effect.”

Darnell recalls being crowned Little Miss Portsmouth at age five. It meant a lot to her for another special pageant victory to take place at home.

“It means everything to me and it’s so special because I see the overwhelming amount of support I’ve gotten from my town. So many people have reached out to me and congratulated me and I just thank each and every one. It was just a moment being crowned Miss Ohio Teen USA on that stage where I was first crowned [as a child]. It was magical.”

Darnell competed in the Miss Ohio Teen USA Pageant for three years prior to last weekend’s win but had previously never advanced further than a semi-finalist. When she realized that she’d advanced to the top five pageant contestants, she kept her composure.

“I was just chatting with all of the other girls backstage, and I was not nervous at all. I thought, ‘it’s either going to happen, or it’s not going to happen. If it doesn’t happen I will move on with my life and everything will be okay. But if it does, buckle up, Kylan, because you’ve got a year ahead!’”

As the whirlwind year ahead awaits her, Darnell keeps sight of the fact that this pageant shows that beauty is much more than one’s outer appearance. She knows that support and forming friendships with the other girls can teach her a lot about herself and others.

“Backstage I was able to communicate with all of the contestants this past weekend. They’re just such talented, young, educated women. Each amazing in their own way. It’s definitely more than a beauty pageant as we support each other and are all very smart women going into our fields.”

Darnell’s strategy for the upcoming year is simple, but one that is unique to her personality. And soon, she can add a graduation cap to sit next to her hard earned crown.

“My journey will just be living my life as a teenager: graduating high school, going to college, figuring all that out. I will keep working with my pageant coaches and just keep being Kylan, and go to Miss Teen USA!”

Darnell wants teens to know that she understands how hard life can be at this age. Her platform, Girl Power, is one which specifically works with young women to remind them that they are so much more than the insecurities they might face.

“I feel like struggling with your sense of self as a teenager is 100% normal,” Darnell said. “There’s so much to figure out as a teen: where you fit in the world, what your goals are, what you want to be, what you want to do, and it’s extremely hard and a lot of pressure for a teenager. I think young girls need to realize the importance of just being themselves and being self-confident [and] body positive.”

Most of all, Darnell is looking forward to representing Ohio in the upcoming Miss Teen USA Pageant.

“I just hope to do my best and to represent Southern Ohio the best that I can. It’s going to be such a crazy year but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.

And for any teenager who dreams of a pageant crown in their future, Darnell’s best advice is to follow their dreams just as she did, despite any resistance from naysayers.

“You never know what is going to be the outcome of something unless you try. The best thing you can do for yourself in this world is to not tell yourself ‘no,’ and just keep going,” Darnell said. “At the end of the day, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Follow the Miss Teen USA Pageant online at missteenusa.com. A date and location for the upcoming Miss Teen USA Pageant has not yet been announced.

Miss Ohio Teen USA 2022, Kylan Darnell, was crowned at the VRCFA on May 21. The Wheelersburg native will now advance to the national competition.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Darnell1.jpgMiss Ohio Teen USA 2022, Kylan Darnell, was crowned at the VRCFA on May 21. The Wheelersburg native will now advance to the national competition.

Darnell knows that the journey ahead will lead to bonding with other contestants and supporters. “I just want to be that friendly sunshine face that anyone can walk up to. I want to make them feel more comfortable. I’m just so excited for this journey that I have,” she says.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Darnell2.jpgDarnell knows that the journey ahead will lead to bonding with other contestants and supporters. “I just want to be that friendly sunshine face that anyone can walk up to. I want to make them feel more comfortable. I’m just so excited for this journey that I have,” she says.

By Kasie McCreary

[email protected]

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.