Both Leah and Marley are from opposite ends of the experience spectrum. Leah has no USA experience, although she has competed in Miss South Carolina (America) twice, and placed top ten earlier this year. She is the first winner with no USA experience crowned this year! She also won the Miss Photogenic award, the first to win both Photogenic and the title since 2011.
Marley on the other hand has competed three times previously. She placed first runner-up in last year's pageant, top ten in 2014 and second runner-up in 2013. The 2013 top five now boasts winner Tori Sizemore, first runner-up at Miss Teen USA, fourth runner-up K Lee Graham, later crowned Miss SC Teen USA & Miss Teen USA 2014, and Marley, the new Miss SC Teen USA 2016.
Among the top ten were last year's second runner-up Jordyn Fox, 2015 Teen third runner-up Karson Terrill who made a very successful transition to the Miss division, and Morgan Brown, who also made the top ten in 2014 and 2015 (I have to say I was almost certain she would break through to the top five this year and was disapointed). The top fifteen included 2015 top ten semi-finalists Neicey Baxter and Melissa Turbeville.
All four Teen runners-up were newcomers, MaKenzie Divina, Blakely Lovett, Ashlyn Laney and Alex Quinn from first to fourth runners-up respectively.
The Teen top 10 included four contestants who had made the top ten or top fifteen last year: Kate Geib, Jordyn Rogge, Mallory Watson and Kali Turner. Savannah Betsill was the only one of the group who was competing for the first time. Last year's second runner-up Charley Manley made the top fifteen.
1RU: Megan Gordon
2RU: Caitlin Russell
3RU: Tori Sizemore (SC TUSA 13)
4RU: Katie Mode (1RU SC TUSA 13, T15 12)
Morgan Brown (T10 15, T10 14)
Jordyn Fox (2RU 15)
Karson Terrell (3RU SC TUSA 15, T10 14)
Mae Ann Webb (NF 12)
Neicey Baxter (T10 15)
Courtney Cox (T10 SC TUSA 08)
Lindsey Lambrakos (T16 15, NF 11)
Melissa Turbeville (T10 15, T10 13, 4RU 12)
Congeniality: Rachael Huber
Photogenic: Leah Lawson
1RU: MaKenzie Divina
2RU: Blakely Lovett
3RU: Ashlyn Laney
4RU: Alex Quinn
Kate Geib (T10 15)
Jordyn Rogge (T15 15, T10 14)
Kaliandra Turner (T15 15)
Mallory Watson (T10 15)
Kelsi Fringer (T15 15)
Paige Holloway (T15 15, 4RU 14)
Charley Manley (2RU 15)
Congeniality: Macey Mitchelle
Photogenic: Blakely Lovett