Kelsey Earley crowned Miss Maine for Miss America 2016

Kelsey Earley became Miss Maine at the pageant held on April 26 at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland. Early is a junior at the University of New England and her hometown is Lebanon.

Early won the swimsuit and talent awards, while Miss Congeniality went to Olivia Doyer, who was also second runner-up. First runner-up Marybeth Noonan also took the People’s Choice and Steven Jensen award, chosen by the production staff.

When her name was called, Earley said it was “amazing” after having competed five years for the title.

“It was truly an accomplishment to hear my name being called,” she said. “From competing in this pageant, I have already earned more than $8,000, and it’s put me through college. I couldn’t be more proud of this organization. I’m really excited to represent Maine.

Earley performed a unique clogging routine to the song “Black Betty” by Ram Jam as her talent.

“I have been dancing since I was four years old,” she said. “It’s a big part of who I am. I love to feed off the audience when I’m performing and see what I can do to interact with them.”

The new Miss Maine’s platform is called “Be a Superhero” and she makes superhero capes for children who are fighting illness. She said the capes remind them to continue that fight, and added that she hopes to make even more capes all across the Vacationland State as its titleholder.

“I hope I can make everyone in Maine know who I am, so when they watch Miss America, they can say ‘I know Miss Maine,’” she said.

She said she is “so excited” to be going to Atlantic City to compete in September. “It’s going to be a truly wonderful experience,” Earley said.

Alexis Wintle was crowned Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen. She also won the Scholastic Award. Wintle, 17, goes to Windham High School where she is a junior. Wintle performed a vocal and her platform is “G.I.V.E. – Get Involved with Volunteer Efforts.”

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