Both Miriah and Abilene were top five finalists last year, with Miriah placing 1st runner-up and Abilene third runner-up. This year Miriah won the Swimsuit award and both she and Abilene won the Interview awards. Miriah is the first Miss MO USA in at least the last seven years to have won two categories.
Miriah is 24 and lives in St Louis, however she is originally from Effingham, Illinois and was first runner-up at Miss IL Teen USA 2011 and a semi-finalist in 2012. She competed with recently crowned Miss IL USA Alex Plotz in both pageants. In addition to placing 1RU at Miss MO USA last year she was 3RU in 2017. She is one of a long line of USA titleholders who attended Lindenwood University, I assume using her pageant scholarships!
Abilene turned 15 only a few days before the pageant (yes, that means she made the top five last year when she was barely 14!) and lives in St James.
Among the semi-finalists were Miss MO Teen USA 2014 and Miss MO USA 2017 second runner-up Samantha Bowers, last year's fourth runner-up Sydney Benson, now four-time semi-finalist Alexandria Spry, other past Miss & Teen semi-finalists MarSeanna Young, Katie Moeller, Sara Allen, Ashley Bird and CJ Thomas and 2016 Teen non-finalist Sarah Kerns. Caroline Campbell, yet another past Illinois runner-up and Lindenwood student, also made the top 12 and won Miss Congeniality. The only two first-time contestants in the top 12 were Sydney Wilhelm and Sarah Cohen-Smith.
The semi-finalists were Sophia Bianco, Paige Crumpecker (Miss Congeniailty), Destiny Drake, Emma Kreitner, Catherine Heckemeyer, Suliah Thomas and Maryn White. Destiny was a semi-finalist in 2018 and non-finalist Honourable Mention award winer in 2017.
1RU: Ashleigh Bedwell (3RU 18, 2RU MO TUSA 17, 2RU 16)
2RU: Alison Bowles (4RU MO TUSA 14)
3RU: Britney Janssen (NF 18, NF 17)
4RU: Ashlyn Hoock (SF IL TUSA 14)
Sara Allen (SF 17)
Samantha Bowers (2RU 17, MO TUSA 14)
Alexandria Spry (SF 17, SF 16, SF 15)
Ashley Bird (SF MO TUSA 13, NF 12)
Caroline Campbell (SF IL USA 18, 1RU IL TUSA 16, 2RU 15, SF 13)
Sydney Benson (4RU 18, SF 17, SF MO TUSA 16)
Katie Moeller (SF 18)
CJ Thomas (SF 18, NF 17, NF 16)
Sarah Kerns (NF MO TUSA 16)
MarSeanna Young (SF 18)
Congeniality: Caroline Campbell
Photogenic: Britney Janssen
Swimsuit: Miriah Ludtke
Gown: Alison Bowles
Interview: Miriah Ludtke
1RU: Kennedy Oliver
2RU: Lauren Everett (NF 17)
3RU: Katelyn Cupp
4RU: Claire Rowe
Destiny Drake (SF 18, NF 17)
Congeniality: Paige Crumpecker
Photogenic: Claire Rowe
Activewear: Kennedy Oliver
Gown: Claire Rowe
Interview: Abilene Lortz