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Clinton's Beth Finch named state's Junior Miss

By Staff
AND THE WINNER IS … Mississippi's new Junior Miss, Beth Finch, left, is congratulated Saturday night by 2002 Junior Miss Natalie Pope as other contestants applaud. Finch, who represented the city of Clinton, was named 2003 Mississippi Junior Miss in the annual program staged at Meridian's Temple Theater. Photo by Carissa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Aug. 4, 2002
Beth Finch, a Clinton High School senior who impressed judges in poise, scholastic and talent categories, was named 2003 Mississippi Junior Miss Saturday night.
Finch was immediately surrounded by the 36 other participants in the program, who offered hugs and congratulations on the Temple Theater stage.
Dressed in a formal white gown, Finch was gracious in her acceptance of $5,000 in scholarships and other prizes including a bright gold Junior Miss Medallion. She said her "head was spinning" after state Sen. Terry Burton, the program's emcee, announced her name to a packed house on the third and final night of competition.
A crowd favorite, Finch, the daughter of David and Emily Finch of Clinton, was a preliminary winner in the scholastic and poise segments of the 44th Mississippi Junior Miss program, held in Meridian for the past four decades.
In her talent presentation, she performed the song, "A Piece of Sky."
Alternates in the 2003 program were:
Kristian Dambrino, Grenada County's Junior Miss, first alternate. She is the daughter of Robin and Debbie Dambrino and attends Kirk Academy.
Rachael Deen, Meridian's Junior Miss, second alternate. She is the daughter of Tim and Amy Deen and attends Meridian High School.
Deen was also pleased with her performance in the program.
Caroline McNeel, Winston County's Junior Miss, third alternate. She is the daughter of Niles and Melanie McNeel and attends Winston Academy.
The Brainstorm Creative Group Overall Talent Award went to Lincoln County's Sarah Newman who preformed ballet on pointe to "Coppella."
The Medical Store Overall Fitness Award also went to Newman and the Overall Poise Award went to Ashlynn Bloomfield, Jackson County's Junior Miss.
The Bo Russell Memorial Overall Scholastic Award went to Catherine Carter of Hinds County.
The Has-Been Association Spirit Award went to Mary-Brandon Norman of Lamar County and the "Be Your Best Self" Essay Award went to Heather White, Marion County's Junior Miss.
Special guest for the final evening of competition was Miss Mississippi Jennifer Adcock, Mississippi's Junior Miss in 1998.
The top 10 finalists and special award winners will share $23,000 in scholarship money. Finch will go on to represent the state at America's Junior Miss program in Mobile next year.
Top 10 Finalists:
Beth Finch, Clinton, 2003
Mississippi's Junior Miss
Kristian Dambrino, Grenada County, first alternate
Rachael Deen, Meridian, second alternate
Caroline McNeel, Winston County, third alternate
Mary-Brandon Norman, Lamar County
Catherine Carter, Hinds County
Jayme Robertson, Madison County
Michelle Coleman, Pearl River County
Ashlynn Bloomfield, Jackson County
Sarah Newman, Lincoln County