COLUMBIA — Stephanie Morse was surprised to be crowned Boone County Fair Queen on Tuesday night.
"I didn't even think I would do well. I did this just for fun," she said.
Boone County Fair Queen
Title winner: Stephanie Morse
First runner-up: Lily Williams
Second runner-up: Melissa Beutenmiller
Third runner-up: Rynda Kite
Boone County Fair Teen Queen
Title winner: Allison Frappier
First runner-up: Madison Baker
Second runner-up: Kayla Timbrook
Boone County Fair Princess
Title winner: Brianna Heath
First runner-up: Kathleen Duncan
Second runner-up: Cassidee Tuttle
Little Miss Boone County
Title winner: Abby Eddy
Second place: Zalenia Brooks
Third place: Quincy Shepherd
Little Mr. Boone County
Title winner: Aidan Szczodroski
Second place: Gabriel Seneral
Third place: Adrian Lozano Jr.
Morse was one of a number of local teens and children who competed in the Boone County Fair's royalty competitions. The titles awarded at the fair included Boone County Queen, Boone County Teen Queen, Boone County Princess, Little Miss Boone County and Little Mr. Boone County.
Seventeen-year-old Morse beat out eight other girls for the title of Boone County Queen. For the rest of the Boone County Fair, her responsibilities will include handing out ribbons at all of the 4-H livestock competitions, supporting the fair and appearing at grandstand events, the livestock auction and the ham breakfast.
"The queen's job is really to be present at the fair," said competition coordinator Amy Wilsdorf. "For the rest of the week, she will spend a lot of time at the fair — posing for pictures and attending as many different events as she possibly can."
Morse decided to do the competition because she wanted to do something feminine before she enters the Air Force ROTC at MU in the fall.
Morse graduated as valedictorian of Hickman High School in May, where she ran track and field and participated in a number of academic clubs. Morse will attend MU to study biochemistry, wanting to eventually become either a doctor or a dentist.
For the talent competition, which she also won, Morse preformed a taekwondo routine in which she broke through wooden boards by kicking them. She has been doing taekwondo for eight years.
“My favorite part was the talent," Morse said. "When I broke through the boards, it released all the tension I had been feeling from the competition. I finally relaxed.”
Morse, who was the first Boone County Queen contestant ever to perform taekwondo, said she selected it because the talent competition is partially judged on originality. “I thought that would be a good one,” she said.
Boone County Teen Queen
The Boone County Teen Queen, 15-year-old Allison Frappier, had never participated in a beauty contest before.
“She works so hard,” said her mother, Doreen Frappier. “I was so excited and so happy (when she won).”
Like all of the contestants, Allison is participating in other events. On Saturday, she will show two dogs in the Boone County Dog Show, which is a part of the fair. Allison won three years ago in the agility competition with a dog that she adopted from the Humane Society. She will show in the rally, agility and obedience competitions.
"She’ll be busy," Doreen Frappier said.
Allison’s favorite part of the teen queen competition was the gown portion.
“You get to see everyone in their gowns — I think everyone looks really pretty,” she said. “And you get to show off your own gown.”
Allison was also voted Miss Congeniality by her peers in the competition. She said she was shocked when she won both awards.
To prepare for the competition, Allison practiced her walk on stage, read over her application again and again, and answered all the questions her judges could have asked her in her head.
Allison enjoyed gown shopping for the competition with her mother. “We tried on about 50,” she said.
Allison was involved in 4-H growing up. Her mother said it is other 4-H competitions that helped prepare her for the pageant.
“4-H has been a really positive experience for her," Doreen Frappier said. "She did really well in this because she has done other competitions.”
Boone County Princess
The Boone County Princess competition winner was 11-year-old Brianna Heath. Winning the competition was like lifting a weight off her shoulders, she said.
“I feel like I was holding my breath before, and now I can let it all out,” she said.
This was Brianna’s second beauty competition. She competed in the Boone County Princess competition in 2010, but took last year off to go to MU's Geology Field Camp.
Brianna and her entire extended family are Boone County Fair supporters.
“We’re pro-fair, pro-4-H, pro-Columbia people,” her mother, Tanya Heath, said. “I was totally overwhelmed with happiness and joy when she won because we’ve talked about how important it is to share joy about the Boone County Fair and 4-H.”
Brianna looks forward to the fair every year. Her cousins participate in the event's livestock shows, which Brianna enjoys.
“I really like animals,” she said.
Brianna said she was excited that she won because now she can use her talents to promote the Boone County Fair.
Little Miss Boone County and Little Mr. Boone County
Contestants ages 5 and 6 competed in the Little Mr. Boone County and Little Miss Boone County competitions. Aidan Szczodroski and Abby Eddy were the winners, respectively.
Children in the competitions are judged on their appearances, personalities, clothing and speaking abilities.
Ashley Szczodroski, Aidan's mother, said he was very enthusiastic about the event.
“He wanted to sing and dance on stage,” she said.
When Aidan first had to talk to the judges, he hid behind his hands.
“He was a little shy at first,” his mother said. “He was made for performance of some kind.”
“It was fun,” Aidan said. "This is my trophy," he said, pointing to the large plastic crown on his head.
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.