BUCKHANNON — On Sunday evening, the lives of two young women were forever changed as they now begin to embark on their “Journey to the Crown” on the national competition stage.
The third and final night of the Miss West Virginia USA competition held in Buckhannon narrowed the contestants down to the top five competitors in the Miss and Teen divisions. Completing an active-wear phase, an evening gown presentation, and an on-stage question—one teen and one woman were crowned as the 2021 title holders who will go on to represent the Mountain State in the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants this fall.
Brylee Knotts, a senior from Grafton High School, was named Miss Teen West Virginia USA. She will be attending Fairmont State, studying Forensic Science. Knotts said she is interested in crime and investigation, advocacy for teen mental health, and has the ambition of becoming an entrepreneur.
“I entered this pageant because I want to show the world a new, empowered me. In the last year, I had a lot of time to self reflect, identify my strengths, understand my struggles, and find who I truly am. I hope to encourage other young adults to spread their wings and express themselves in whatever way they choose,” Knotts expressed. She will advance to the Miss Teen USA pageant in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 4.
Parkersburg’s Alexis Bland was crowned Miss West Virginia USA on July 11. She is a graduate from WVU at Parkersburg, where she studied Business Administration. Bland is now a Real Estate Agent who reportedly loves traveling, singing and writing.
Bland expressed, “The Miss West Virginia USA title will allow me to educate young people about the importance of financial literacy and developing important life skills. I entered the pageant to promote positive change and leadership throughout my state. I hope to gain new responsibilities and self growth from this experience.” She will also compete in Tulsa on November 29, as she seeks the title of Miss USA.
Lakyn Campbell was 1st Runner Up in the Miss Teen West Virginia USA competition and will replace Knotts in the Miss Teen USA competition if she is unable to fulfill her duties for any reason. Sarah Lowjeski was 2nd Runner Up, while Leah Hinchee was the 3rd Runner Up and Emily Grace Anderson was the 4th Runner Up.
Should Bland be unable to fulfill her duties as Miss West Virginia USA, Krystian Leonard will step in as 1st Runner Up. Tamia Hardy was the 2nd Runner Up, while Lacey Russell took 3rd Runner Up, followed by 4th Runner Up Dominique Collins.
Congratulations to all the contestants and best wishes as they represent West Virginia in the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA competitions later this year.