It was a good weekend to be a Tiger at the Township Auditorium. Miss Clemson, Rachel Wyatt, won the Miss South Carolina crown Saturday. Her victory came a night after Miss Clemson Teen, Makayla Stark, won Miss South Carolina Teen.
Miss Columbia, Sydney Ford, made the top five as the field was narrowed from 54, finishing as the fourth runner-up. Ford tap danced to “No Diggity” in the talent competition and fielded a question about the role of the government in race relations in the interview portion.
“I’m thrilled,” Ford said. “I put my heart out there, and Rachel’s an amazing representative…We’ve done this before together and we’ve grown super close, and she’s awesome.” Ford and Wyatt both competed in Miss SC Teen in 2012, with Wyatt winning and Ford finishing as third runner-up.
Ford will have a quick turnaround to the next phase of her life, as she prepares to move to the Atlanta area and attend law school at Emory starting August 8. However, she will have some time to catch up on things. “I’m going to sleep good tomorrow,” she said with a smile after the pageant Saturday. “I’m going to Waffle House tonight. I feel it. I feel a waffle coming my way.”
The other Midlands contestants did not make the final 16, but Sophie Keyes, a University of South Carolina student competing as Miss Greater Easley, was recognized for having the highest interview score among those who did not advance. Miss Midlands, Emily Doyle, was honored as one of the top three talent competition performers who did not make the top 16. Miss Capital City, Leslie Knight, received the Miracle Maker award, given to the contestant who raises the most money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Knight raised $13,001.
Wyatt will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant, and will spend her year as Miss South Carolina advocating for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Click here for more from the Midlands Anchor series on contestants with local ties. More photos from the pageant are posted on the Midlands Anchor Facebook page.
The other top five finishers were Miss Coastal Islands (Suzi Roberts), Miss North Greenville University (Christal Potter) and Miss Spartanburg (Anna Mills Polatty). Miss Hilton Head Island (Anna Brown), Miss Lyman (Ariel Blackwood), Miss SC Sweet Potato Festival (Chelsea Bullock), Miss Charleston Southern University (Amelia McCulloch) and Miss Coastal Carolina University (Shelby Dangerfield) joined them in the top ten. Rounding out the top 16 were Miss Greater Greer (Mary Grace Nasim), Miss Lander University (Katlyn Gordon), Miss Greer Middle College (Alyxandria Farkas), Miss Inman (Ali Bradley), Miss Sparkle City (Bry Atchison) and Miss Boiling Springs (Rebecca Robinson).
Pictured: Wyatt crowned by Miss SC 2015, Daja Dial (photo by Allen Wallace)