Students step into the spotlight to compete for Nebraska Pageant Titles


Marian’s own senior Micah Loucks competed in her first ever pageant this year. Loucks competed in the Miss Nebraska Teen USA pageant, which was held on Feb. 25-26 at the Rose Theater.

Having never done a pageant before, Loucks prepared for this event by hiring a professional pageant coach who would help her learn the basics and the techniques of the competition.

Loucks traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, twice a month to meet with this coach and train for the pageant.

During the competition, Loucks dressed up in ball gowns, curled her hair, and wore gorgeous makeup. However, she used this opportunity to favor something much bigger than tiaras and titles. Loucks said, “I really wanted to advocate for special needs and disabilities, and I thought it was a great platform for me to try to advocate for these things.”

Inspired by her mother, Loucks decided to advocate for special needs and disabilities because she wanted them to have a platform and for people to be educated on their stories and the different conditions.

“My mom has always brought me to events for special needs and I’ve grown very fond of these kids,” Loucks said.

According to Loucks, there are three different parts of a pageant. First, there is active wear, which is similar to swim wear. Contestants model typical athletic wear like leggings and sports tops.

Second, there is the interview, where you talk about your platform in front of a panel of judges and answer a few questions.

Lastly, there is evening wear, where you parade around in a fancy, long, elegant dress. “My favorite part was the interview because it was such an adrenaline rush,” Loucks said.

At the Miss Nebraska Teen USA pageant, there were 12 girls from all over Nebraska competing with Loucks. She didn’t know any of the girls prior to the competition, but enjoyed getting to know them and learning about their backgrounds and platforms.
When it came time for awards, judges announced not only the placings, but also any special awards for the girls that caught their eye. Loucks placed in the top 8, won the People’s Choice Award, and won the
award for Best Interview.

“I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is really wanting to get themselves out there, to try new opportunities, learn more about themselves, and step out of their comfort
zone,” Loucks said.

According to Marian parent newsletters from the 1970s, there were other Marian students that also competed in local pageants.

In 1976, Mary Kovarik was named1st runner up in the Junior Miss Pageant, and in 1977, as a senior, Kovarik was crowned Miss Douglas County. She later competed in the Nebraska Pageant. In 1979, sophomore Delynn Sempek won the title of Miss Nebraska United Teenager. She competed against 66 other Nebraska contestants and went on to represent Nebraska in other competitions.

Loucks thanks her parents for supporting her through every step and pushing her to keep going. She plans to compete again in the future and hopes one day to win the Miss Nebraska USA title! Good luck Micah!

Micah Loucks ’23 represents Bennington, Nebraska in February at the Miss Nebraska Teen Competition

Micah Loucks ’23 wins the People’s Choice Award. Photos courtesy of Micah Loucks

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