Gaston pageant winners are crowned for 2022
Six young women to represent region in this summer’s Miss North Carolina competition
Six young women have been crowned to represent the Gaston region in the 2022 Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen competitions.
The Miss Gastonia/Miss Gaston County/Miss Mount Holly competition was held on January 8 at Stuart W. Cramer High School. At the end of the program, six young women emerged from a field of 15 contestants as winners. They are:
▪ Miss Gastonia 2022 is Sharidan Costner. She is the 19-year-old daughter of Sheldon and Sharon Costner of Gastonia. A graduate of Forestview High School, she is a student at Winston-Salem State University where she is pursuing a degree in exercise science. For the talent competition, she performed a tap dance routine. Her community service project focuses on offering support and bringing joy to children who are hospitalized.
▪ Miss Gastonia’s Outstanding Teen 2022 is Lorelei Elberson. She is the 15-year-old daughter of Scotty and Kristen Elberson of Denton. A student at South Davidson High School, her college plans include attending Columbia University to obtain a degree in pre-medicine; she wants to become an anesthesiologist. For the talent competition, she presented a speed painting demonstration. Her community service project focuses on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
▪ Miss Gaston County 2022 is Bailey Beam. She is the 24-year-old daughter of Scott and Sherri Beam of Lincolnton. She is a graduate of Lincolnton High School and Lenoir-Rhyne University where she earned a degree in vocal performance/sacred music; she currently works as a children’s ministry director. For the talent competition, she performed a vocal selection. Her community service project focuses on the importance of organ donation.
▪ Miss Gaston County’s Outstanding Teen 2022 is Morgan Wuest. She is the 17-year-old daughter of Frank and KK Wuest of Hickory. A homeschooled student, her college plans include attending Catawba Valley Community College and Appalachian State University to pursue a degree in chemistry. For the talent competition, she performed a selection on the viola. Her community service project focuses on the importance of involving youth in community-based activities.
▪ Miss Mount Holly 2022 is Andersen Raines. She is the 22-year-old daughter of Brannon and LeeAnn Raines of Midland. A senior at Appalachian State University, she is majoring in hospitality and tourism management and currently pursuing employment opportunities in Charlotte. For the talent competition, she presented a character monologue. Her community service project focuses on Career and Technical Education programs in schools.
▪ Miss Mount Holly’s Outstanding Teen 2022 is Zoe Gambino. She is the 15-year-old daughter of James and Randi Wilde of Mount Holly. A student at East Gaston High School, her college plans include attending Western Carolina University to participate in the university’s music program and pursue a degree in sports medicine; she eventually wants to become an athletic trainer for the NFL. For the talent competition, she performed a selection on the clarinet. Her community service project focuses on domestic violence prevention.
As Gaston County’s titleholders for 2022, the six young women will make public appearances, promote their community service project, and compete for the Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen titles in June. The state competition is set for June 23-25 at the High Point Theater.
In the Miss division, the list of contestants included Deoveune Chappell, Bailey Clayton, Olivia Taggart, Rebecca DeMar (runner-up), and Deanna Glenn (congeniality winner). The Outstanding Teen contestants included Morgan Kimrey, Natalie Dail (runner-up), Hailey McClellan, and Savannah Royals.
The Miss division is open to young women ages 19-26 who live, work, or attend school in Gaston and nine surrounding counties. The Outstanding Teen division is for young women ages 13-18 who are North Carolina residents; the teen contestants do not have to live in a particular county to enter.
The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association sponsored the pageant. The contestants competed for $218,700 in cash and in-kind scholarships. Toyota of Gastonia, Hagans Real Estate of Kings Mountain, and the City of Mount Holly presented the $1,000 scholarships for Miss Gastonia, Miss Gaston County, and Miss Mount Holly. Belmont Abbey College, Gardner-Webb University, Gaston College, and Paul Mitchell – The School in Gastonia provided in-kind-scholarships.
The pageant featured outgoing 2020-2021 titleholders Julia DeSerio, Miss Gastonia; Keelie Jones, Miss Gastonia’s Outstanding Teen; Mariana Linares, Miss Gaston County; Lexi Foy, Miss Gaston County’s Outstanding Teen; and Anne Marie Hagerty, Miss Mount Holly. Todd Hagans was the emcee, Delores Cox directed the pageant, and Cathy Layton-Aupied served as the producer/choreographer.
A highlight of the program was the presentation of the Key to the City to Miss Mount Holly by city councilman David Moore. During his presentation, Moore complimented Hagerty on her time of service and for finishing as the first runner-up to Miss North Carolina 2021.