BROOKINGS — Kaitlin O’Neill, whose hometown is Groton, was crowned Miss South Dakota 2021 Saturday night and 17-year old Kianna Healy of Hartford was crowned Miss S.D.’s Outstanding Teen on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to her scholarship of $8,000 for winning the competition, O’Neill was a preliminary talent winner Thursday evening ($1,000), and on-stage interview winner on Friday ($500.) She was also the overall interview winner ($500) and took home the state community service Award ($1,000).
O’Neill’s platform is “Bloom — Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy You.” Her talent was a contemporary ballet to Bad Guy by Eklipse. She is the daughter of Robin O’Neill and Steve O’Neill and competed as Miss Dakota Plains. O’Neill graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato, with majors in dance and marketing.
First runner-up was Hunter Widvey of Rapid City, garnering a $4,000 scholarship. Widvey also won the $1,000 preliminary talent award Friday night. Second runner-up was Annie Woodmansey of Pierre. In addition to her scholarship award of $2,000, she received the Quality of Life scholarship and the Sylvia Tannehill Kindness scholarship, each for $1,000. Woodmansey competed as Miss State Fair.
Third runner-up was Miranda O’Brian, taking home a scholarship of $1,500, in addition to the $500 award for preliminary on-stage interview and social initiative pitch on Thursday. Fourth runner-up and winner of a $1,200 scholarship was Margaret Samp, Sioux Falls. In addition, she received the Ray Peterson “Rookie of the Year” award of $500 for being the top-placing first-time candidate.
Fifteen women from across the state competed for the title. All won scholarships, totalling nearly $35,000.
Healy, who will be a freshman at the University of South Dakota this fall, received a total of $2,250 for her Teen title.
First runner-up was Rio Snyder of Black Hawk. Snyder was the Lifestyle and Fitness award winner, and the state community service scholarship winner. She received $1,350 in scholarships. Second runner-up was Karina Novotny of Hot Springs, earning $750 in scholarships. Third runner-up was Danielle Nowell of Hitchcock, winning a $500 scholarship. Fourth runner-up was Javonte Madsen of Rapid City, taking home a $350 scholarship. Nowell competed as Miss State Fair’s Outstanding Teen and Madsen was Miss Huron’s Outstanding Teen.
Candidates received almost $10,000 in scholarships total.
O’Neill will compete at the Miss America Pageant at the Mohegan Sun resort in Connecticut, December. Healy will represent South Dakota at the 2021 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition which will be held in Orlando, Florida July 27-30.