Broadhead, Jones honored as Junior Misses
PAST AND PRESENT Last year's winners Bridget Kennedy, center, left, and Jennifer Hermetz stand with Jaime Broadhead (far right) and Carrie Jones (far left) just after they were honored as the 2002 Junior Misses for Meridian and Lauderdale County. Photo by Penny Randall/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall/The Meridian Star
March 5, 2001
Meridian High School's auditorium was transported back to the "Swinging 60s" Saturday night as 15 of Meridian's most talented and outgoing juniors vied for the title of Junior Miss 2002.
Meridian's Jaime Elizabeth Broadhead and Lauderdale County's Carrie Elizabeth Jones were awarded their titles before a large and enthusiastic crowd. Both girls will next compete in the state program to be held in August at the Temple Theatre.
The "Swinging 60s" theme was carried throughout the program. During the opening number contestants dressed in 60s attire and performed dance steps to the theme of the movie "Austin Powers, with master of ceremonies Andrew Webb portraying Powers himself.
As the Meridian and Lauderdale County groups rotated between physical fitness and creative and performing arts, last year's winners Meridian's Jennifer Hermetz and Lauderdale County's Bridget Kennedy spoke about their experiences at the state program and their year as reigning Junior Misses.
Contestants next changed into their signature white gowns to participate in the presence and composure section of the evening. They were escorted across the stage, mostly by their fathers who presented them with a red rose, to a microphone were they spoke on who they chose as their 60s influence. Choices ranged from Elvis, Audrey Hepburn and JFK to Barbie.
They were then asked to select a question at random and had to answer it on the spot. Questions included "What is your one wish for America?" to "Why is Mississippi called the Hospitality State?"
The night's entertainment included a dance routine by members of Carol Merrill Academy of Dance and a local group, "The Beatles." While scores were being tabulated singer, Patrice Gathright brought the crowd to its feet with pop and rhythm and blues songs.
The girls then returned to the stage for the announcement of winners.
Broadhead who was still in shock following her selection as Meridian's winner said, "I can't believe it yet, it hasn't hit me, I worked so hard for this. I'm just thrilled to be chosen."
After Carrie Jones' name was called she said, "I'm still in shock I'm overwhelmed."
As the winners were congratulated by family and friends, Executive Director Carol Merrill said the evening was a complete success.
Broadhead, the daughter of Dale and Susie Broadhead, was a crowd favorite. She also received the presence and composure, panel evaluation and scholastic achievement awards.
Jones, a junior at Lamar High School, is the daughter of Michael and Paulette Jones. She also received the presence and composure and scholastic achievement awards during Saturday night's competition.
Meridian's first alternate was Meridian High School junior Ann Marie Hall, the daughter of Steve Hall and Robin Hall. She portrayed "Laurie" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma"during her creative and performing arts performance.
Deborah Lindsey Knight was selected as second alternate and also received the physical fitness and creative and performing arts awards for an outstanding jazzy tumbling routine to "Jump Jive and Wail." She is the daughter of Jeff and Debbie Gibbs.
Lauderdale County's first alternative was Alexis Danielle Pomierski, a student at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. The daughter of Dr. David Pomierski and Cheryl Richardson, she also received the panel evaluation award.
West Lauderdale High School junior, Natalie Cherre Goldman was second alternate. She is the daughter of Mike and Sherry Goldman and received the physical fitness and creative and performing arts award for her lyrical and character routine to a medley of songs from "The Sound of Music."
Other honors of the evening included the "Be Your Best Self" essay winner, which went to Jaime Broadhead, while Lindsey Kyles and Amy Poole received spirit awards.
The Junior Miss program is sponsored by the Greater Meridian Jaycees.
Penny Randall is assistant to the editor at The Meridian Star. E-Mail her at email@example.com