Miss Badgerland Grace Stanke crowned Miss Wisconsin for 2022, Oshkosh-native wins Teen award
OSHKOSH – The Badger State has a new Miss Wisconsin.
Miss Badgerland Grace Stanke, who is originally from Wausau, was crowned Miss Wisconsin 2022 on Saturday and will represent the state at the Miss America 2023 Competition in December.
Stanke was crowned Miss Wisconsin Outstanding Teen in 2017 five years ago to the day, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison nuclear engineering student is the first women to have held both the titles of Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Wisconsin.
Stanke was a semi-finalist last year competing as Miss Madison, and was "in disbelief" when she realized she had won the crown this year.
"I'm so incredibly honored to be representing the state of Wisconsin and the incredible women from the (rest of the 22 candidates)," Stanke said.
More: Onalaska, St. Francis contestants land awards in final preliminary round for Miss Wisconsin 2022
More:Contestants from Wausau, St. Francis lead the way in the first night of Miss Wisconsin 2022 competition
Stanke takes over the title from Jennifer Schmidt, a UW-Madison graduate originally from Racine.
Brenda Baudo, executive director of the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Organization, said she was thrilled for Stanke and expects she will make a big impact in her year as Miss Wisconsin.
"She is an exceptional young woman with a unique combination of intellect, talent, ambition and relatability," Baudo said.
Stanke was named one of the 11 semifinalists Saturday, whittling down the field from 22 candidates. Those 11 semifinalists then competed in the talent, question and red carpet portions of the competition.
Stanke had won a preliminary award for talent on the first night of the competition for her performance of "The Storm" on the violin, and once again shone in a talented field. Many veterans of the Miss Wisconsin Competition said it was one of the strongest, most competitive group of women in history.
After the three phases, the field was again cut down to a Top 5 that included Stanke; Miss Harbor Cities Kylene Spanbauer, of Fond du Lac; Miss Kenosha Jenna Lee Jane Zeihen of Kenosha; Miss La Crosse Oktoberfest, Maddie Adickes of Onalaska; and Miss South Central, Jordenne Butler of Onalaska.
Those five shared their social impact pitches again and faced one last interview question before the panelists put in the final scores. Stanke's pitch was finding more ways to promote green energy with an emphasis on nuclear power across the state.
Stanke was emotional after her win and said she was happy to be surrounded by her fellow candidates.
"It really speaks to the power of sisterhood and everything about this organization empowering women," Stanke said. "I am so excited to have them supporting me because they helped me believe in myself."
Stanke received $12,500 in scholarships along with other gifts and awards, and the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss America 2023 in December. She also won the overall interview award and preliminary talent award, earning an additional $800 in scholarships.
Here is the list of all 11 semi-finalists, and the positions of the other four runners-up:
- Miss La Crosse Oktoberfest, Maddie Adickes of Onalaska. Second runner-up, $1,500 scholarship.
- Miss Racine, Maria Jose Castillo Venegas of Racine and Michoacan, Mexico. $500 scholarship.
- Miss Great Lakes, Breah Ostertag of Oshkosh. $500 scholarship.
- Miss Milwaukee, Jada Davis. “People’s Choice” winner, $600 scholarship.
- Miss Kenosha, Jenna Lee Jane Zeihen. Third runner-up, $1,250 scholarship.
- Miss Harbor Cities, Kylene Spanbauer of Fond du Lac. First runner-up, $3,000 scholarship.
- Miss Saint Francis, Jasmine Peck.
- Miss Badgerland, Grace Stanke, of Wausau. Winner, Miss Wisconsin. $12,500
- Miss Madison, Anna Kelly of Madison.
- Miss South Central, Jordenne Butler of Onalaska. Fourth runner-up, $1,000 scholarship.
- Miss Sugar Maple, Lila Szyryj of Madison.
Hometown candidate wins Wisconsin's Miss Outstanding Teen
On Friday night, Miss Wisconsin Outstanding Teen was crowned, with Miss Oshkosh’s Outstanding Teen Evelyn Green earning the title to huge applause from the hometown audience.
Green, who won the title over 16 other candidates, earned a $2,500 scholarship award for her title and the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2023 in August in Dallas.
Green also won the Talent Award for a baton twirl routine to the song “Tribe" and was voted Most Photogenic by her peers to earn an additional $300 scholarship and a photo shoot with Watrous Photography.
As Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen, Green will dedicate her year of service to championing her personal Social Impact Initiative: “You’re Invited: Celebrating Different Abilities Through Inclusion," which looks to provide more opportunities for students with disabilities by promoting inclusion in schools and community programs so all children can participate.
Baudo called Green a "remarkable young woman" who will make Wisconsin proud.
“We are looking forward to her year of service as she delivers her message of inclusion throughout Wisconsin and onto the national stage," Baudo said.
Rounding out the Top 5 court of honor were the following candidates:
- Fourth Runner-up, Miss Onalaska’s Outstanding Teen, Trinity Horstman, $500 Scholarship.
- Third Runner-up, Miss West Allis Outstanding Teen, Kaylee Griep, Forestville, $600 Scholarship.
- Second Runner-up, Miss St. Francis Outstanding Teen, Carly Doome, Oak Creek, $700 Scholarship.
- First Runner-up, Miss Titletown’s Outstanding Teen, Morgan Eberhardt, Green Bay, $800 Scholarship.
Contact Bremen Keasey at 920-570-5614 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Keasinho.