MISS OHIO: Martin wins for a second night; Granville woman earns talent honor
MANSFIELD — Woodsfield’s Karissa Martin, the 20-year-old Miss Clayland, became a double winner on Thursday night at the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program.
On Wednesday night, she won the first phase talent award at the Renaissance Theatre. Thursday, she pocketed the second night’s phase of the swimsuit competition.
“I’m very, very excited. A lot of people ask me what do I do to prepare for swimsuit. I don’t. I eat all the time. My parents will tell you that. I’m a dancer so I’m very, very active,” said Martin, who wore a two-piece swimsuit in bright pink and black to catch the judges’ eyes.
Martin, a music and theater communications major, said she would like to become a vocal professor or possibly enter the field of broadcast journalism. Her local director, Martha Campbell, said the last time a Miss Clayland was a double preliminary winner was in 1984. That was Melissa Bradley of Mansfield, who went on to be Miss Ohio that year.
“I don’t want to jinx her or anything,” Campbell said.
Miss Lake Erie, Kasey Wilson, 21, of Granville, won the second night’s talent award.
A gifted opera singer who is making her fourth trip to the Miss Ohio stage, The Ohio State University student performed “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta.”
She selected the song because she sang it at OSU for vocal performance class.
“I loved it and I loved that it was two minutes first of all and I didn’t have to cut it down,” she said. “And secondly, it climaxed and it was dramatic and I love to sing it.”
Wilson said she returns to the Miss Ohio competition because she enjoys the program.
“The crew that really puts this show together, the chaperones, the host homes, the people who give their time ... All these people have been a part of my life for four years now. It’s hard not to come back,” she said.
Wilson has performed with Opera Columbus Company and hopes to make a career in the field. She takes care of her voice by getting a lot of rest.
“We are at this theater from sun up to sun down. Definitely rest and a lot of water, just keeping my energy up,” Wilson said.
Thursday night’s preliminary competition showcased all 26 contestants. This year’s theme was “That’s Entertainment.” The show focused on Las Vegas, with plenty of hit tunes including “Viva Las Vegas” and songs made popular by Vegas entertainers Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and Wayne Newton.
No Las Vegas show would be complete without someone going to a wedding chapel. Miss Ohio Roberta Camp was center stage in a wedding gown singing the popular 50s hit, “Going to the Chapel.”
Special guest performer Jenileigh Sawatzke, a Miss Wyoming in 2006-07, wowed the crowd by descending from the ceiling of the Renaissance on two red drapes. She has worked as a dancer and aerialst at Disneyland, Disney World and Busch Gardens Europe. She currently performs in Las Vegas.
During the fast-paced evening, Greg Davis, director of Miss Portsmouth and Scioto Valley locals, was announced, “Volunteer of the Year.”
Three people were inducted into the Miss Ohio Hall of Fame, Miss Greater Cleveland and Miss Open City local directors Sylvia and Harvey Jensen and executive producer John Kunkel.
Miss Ohio Executive Director Jeri Waite told the audience Miss Ohio is marking its 33rd year in Mansfield and this year is giving out $48,000 in scholarships.
Tonight’s preliminary competition has the theme “Broadway.” Miss Ohio is crowned on Saturday night. The winner takes home a $10,000 scholarship from Newman Technology and the chance to compete at Miss America.