RACINE — This June, not one but three current and former Miss Racine title-holders will compete for the Miss Wisconsin crown, a first in city pageant history.
Although she can’t speak for other Wisconsin cities, Miss Racine Scholarship Organization Executive Director Debra Morrall said, “For us, it’s pretty unusual.”
The three competitors are also consecutive Miss Racine winners.
Elise Elmblad, a University of Wisconsin-Parkside student, will represent the city as Miss Racine 2013 after winning this year’s pageant in January.
Miss Racine 2012, UW-Milwaukee student Paula Kuiper, is also competing for the Miss Wisconsin title after winning the Miss Madison-Capital City competition Sunday. Brittny Henderson, Miss Racine 2011, attended UW-Whitewater and recently took first place in the Miss Heart pageant. Both of those are open pageants, meaning anyone in the state can compete.
The three competitors’ talents and experience also complement one another — Elmblad, a singer, will be competing in her first Miss Wisconsin competition while Kuiper, an instrumentalist, and Henderson, a dancer, will be attending for their second and third times, respectively.
Despite being in competition, Morrall said the three young women are far from acting like enemies.
“They’re planning to work together and they hope they’re roommates,” Morrall said. “I think they’re building off of each other’s strengths.”
At the Miss Wisconsin competition, “Obviously everybody wants to win,” Miss Racine 2012 Kuiper said, “but there can only be one winner.” So, she said, it’s better to focus on the friendships that result, rather than the rivalry.
Kuiper said she, Henderson and Elmblad act as a support group, attending each other’s competitions around the state, grabbing dinner beforehand and sitting together during.
“Just really being for each other, I think, does a lot for us,” Kuiper said. “We have so much fun.”
The statewide Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Pageant will be held this June in Oshkosh. The winner will go on to compete for the national Miss America title.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Pageant
WHERE: Alberta Kimball Auditorium in Oshkosh, Wis.
WHEN: June 16-22
For more information, visit www.misswisconsin.com
Editor's note: Brittny Henderson's current title was misidentified in an earlier version of this story. The correction has been made.