SEBRING - Breauna Washington was crowned Miss Highlands County 2014 at Saturday evening's pageant in the Highlands Today Center. The 17-year-old Walker Memorial Academy student was also chosen by her fellow contestants to be Miss Congeniality.
"I was shocked when I won. I feel really happy," said Washington, who was sponsored by Wyatte Trucking and Sod. "I like getting along with everybody and making new friends. That's what this experience was for, making friends."
Emcee Christie Spiegel introduced the 13 contestants ages 16 to 19 who were vying for the title held by previous winner by Ashley Townsend.
"The girls are judged on poise, personality, and how they handle themselves on stage," said pageant judge Natalie Fiallo, the reigning Miss Florida Teen USA. "They should know themselves and be true to themselves," she said.
The panel of three judges gave points to each young woman for the response they gave to questions asked by master of ceremony Dustin Woods.
This is the fourth year that Woods, who is the pastor at Grace Bible Church, has worked on the Miss Highlands County pageant.
Seventeen-year-old Charley Korzep won the first-runner-up title. The South Florida State College freshman is the daughter of Shawn Korzep and Ed Townsend.
Second runner-up was Taylor Crutchfield, an 18-year-old dual enrollment student at Sebring High School and South Florida State College who has a 4.5 GPA.
Simone Waldron came in as the third runner-up, followed by Juliette Perez, who rounded out the court.
The title of Miss Photogenic went to 17-year-old Hannah Belcher, a senior at Sebring High School. Belcher will receive a modeling session and a framed portrait from Delaney Photography.
As Miss Highlands County 2014, Washington is eligible for entry into the Miss Florida USA pageant or a $1,000 scholarship.
Her prize package includes a tiara, sash, and silver tray from the Highlands County Fair Association; flowers from Sebring Florist; a modeling session, and color portrait from Delaney Photography; a six-month Gold's Gym membership; a salon package from Poshe Day Salon; and a custom jacket from Boner Outfitters.
"I'm so excited for her. She is such a good girl," said Breauna's mother, Kim Washington. "I'm very proud."
Entertainment included music by 2010 Junior Heartland Idol winner Nala Price, soloist Lloyd Maybrey and dances by Dance Unlimited.