Cleveland hosts Distinguished Young Woman program - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Distinguished Young Woman program in Cleveland tonight

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Mollie Cline, 2012 Tenn. Distinguished Young Woman Lexee Hill, and Nicola Matty. Mollie Cline, 2012 Tenn. Distinguished Young Woman Lexee Hill, and Nicola Matty.
Casey Johnson, Ariana Kim, Krista Ellis and Lindsey Limerick, 2012 participants are helping with this year's program. Casey Johnson, Ariana Kim, Krista Ellis and Lindsey Limerick, 2012 participants are helping with this year's program.

CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -  "It's the best week of my life!" That statement was heard more than once as twenty rising high school seniors rehearsed in Cleveland for tonight's Distinguished Young Woman of Tennessee program.

Preliminaries were held Friday at  the Bradley Central High School Fine Arts Center followed by tonight's finale at 7 p.m..  Tickets are $30.  The 2011 title holder,  Katye Brock of Tullahoma will emcee the program.

This year's winner will succeed Lexee Hill of Dayton and will receive a $5,000 scholarship.  Miss Hill, who will soon be a freshman at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is the first Rhea County entrant to win in the program's 53-year history.

Participants are judged in five categories:  Interview (25%), Talent (25%), Scholastics (20%), Fitness (15%) and Self-Expression (15%).

Chattanooga area participants include Neely Wood of Signal Mountain Taylor McMahan of McMinn County, Ally Dunlay of Hamilton County,  Ashley Heald of Cleveland,  Yee Won Liew of Rhea County,  Katie Ward of Chattanooga,  Alexa Disterdick of Soddy-Daisy,  Brianna Sandoval  of East Hamilton and Rhiannon Gilbert of Marion County.

Other participants include Autumn Nicole Berry of Knox County, Mollie Cline of Sumner County,   Kurtisha Gayle Norris of Loudon County, Nicola Matty of Tullahoma,  Catherine Joy Davis of Knoxville,  Angelica Fultz of Williamson County, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Bunn of Cumberland Valley, Jessi Alyssa Fuller of Sevier County,  Gabriella Elizabeth Broussard of Madison County, Kristen Elizabeth Clark of Cocke County and Kara Doran Brummitt of Loudon.

Among last year's contestants (nicknamed "Has-Beens") who are helping behind the scenes are Casey Johnson of Knoxville, Ariana Kim of Cleveland, Krista Ellis of Marion County and Lindsey Limerick of Signal Mountain, all of whom said this year's gathering "is like a reunion with my best friends."

State directors are Traci and Charles Fant.  Mrs. Fant is a former Tennessee Junior Miss.

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