After last year I was quite interested to see what would happen with West Virginia's (& the other four Pageant Associates' states) contestant numbers and it's a dead heat! There are eleven more Miss contestants this year, bringing the total to 21... but also 11 fewer Teen contestants (a total of 17). The two divisions are much more evenly balanced this year though, unlike last year when there were only 10 Miss contestants and only a top five was called.
The Miss division is a very young group, with only two contestants being older than 23. Seven of the nine contestants with past experience had competed in Teen at least once, including four former WV Teen USA runners-up: Dominique Collins (3RU 2014), Lauren Roush (2RU in 2013), Haley Gray-Hinchman (4RU in 2013, 3RU in 2012) and Tori Rohr (3RU in 2011). Lauren and Tori were also runners-up in Miss WV USA last year (and are the only returning 2016 Miss runners-up), and Dominique was 3RU at Miss WV USA 2015.
Miss West Virginia's Outstanding Teen 2008 Bethany Lojewski is competing in the Miss division and Miss WV's OT 2011 Isabel Raese is competing for the Teen title.
Isabel is also the returning 1st runner-up from 2016. Morgan Smith was also in last year's top five, and has competed every year since 2013. Katie Riedel was 4RU in 2015 and a semi-finalist last year.
Charlotte Bellotte (SF WV TUSA 12, NF 11)
Dominique Collins (3RU 15, 3RU WV TUSA 14, NF 13)
Haley Gray-Hinchman (4RU WV TUSA 13, 3RU 12)
Mahalie Hargis (SF WV TUSA 13, NF 12)
Kylee Laurine (SF OH TUSA 15, NF 13)
Bethany Lojewski (WV's OT 08)
Hannah McComas (SF 15, NF 14, SF 13)
Tori Rohr (3RU 16, SF 14, 3RU WV TUSA 11)
Lauren Roush (1RU 16, SF WV TUSA 14, 2RU 13)
Lacy Russell (SF OH USA 16)
TEEN CONTESTANTS (17)
Carly Farmer (NF 16)
Isabel Raese (1RU 16, 3RU 15, SF 14, Miss WV's OT 11)
Katherine Riedel (SF 16, 4RU 15)
Presley Slater (NF 16)
Morgan Smith (4RU 16, SF 15, SF 14, NF 13)
Alexis Webb (NF 16, NF 15, NF 14)