Twenty-seven juniors from five area high schools competed in this year's Distinguished Young Women of Turlock Scholarship Program (formerly known as Turlock's Junior Miss).
Each of the candidates worked for six weeks on fitness, self-expression and opening number routines, culminating in Saturday's judging event. Two overall winners were chosen based on the judged categories: Interview, 25 percent; Talent, 25 percent; Scholastic, 20 percent; Fitness, 15 percent; and Self Expression, 15 percent. Two other non-judged categories were Be Your Best Self and Spirit.
Megan Wade was named the Distinguished Young Woman of South Turlock and Claire Littlefield was named the Distinguished Young Woman of North Turlock.
Megan is the daughter of Mary and David Wade and is a student at Pitman High School. Her future plans include studying dance at UC Berkeley. Her talent for Saturday's competition was dance on pointe.
Claire is the daughter of Leslie Littlefield and is a student at Pitman High School. Her future plans include studying public relations at the University of San Diego. Her talent was playing the bells and glockenspiel.
Aurora Jimenez of Hilmar High was named first runner up; Rachel Reding of Pitman High, second runner up; and Maggi Strom of Hilmar High was given special recognition.
Category winners included:
• Self Expression: Natalie Bartell (Turlock High), Aurora Jimenez (Hilmar), Maggi Strom (Hilmar), and Megan Wade (Pitman)
• Talent: Morgan Loomis (Pitman), Cameron Martinez (Turlock), Emily McAlister (Pitman), and Megan Wade (Pitman)
• Fitness: Sara DeGraff (Turlock), Devin Espinola (Turlock), Morgan Loomis (Pitman), and Megan Wade (Pitman)
• Interview: Natalie Bartell (Turlock), Claire Littlefield (Pitman), Kayli Perry (Turlock), and Rachel Reding (Pitman)
• Scholastic: Claire Littlefield (Pitman), Rachel Reding (Pitman), Hayley Rovito (Pitman), and Maggi Strom (Hilmar)
• Spirit: Rachel Reding (Pitman), Madeline Roche (Hilmar), Bailey Virgo (Hilmar), and Megan Wade (Pitman)
• Be Your Best Self: Cierra Booz (Turlock), Jelena Bravo (Turlock), Elisiah Frank (Pitman), and Madeline Roche (Hilmar).
The Turlock North and South winners will compete in the Distinguished Young Women of California event in Bakersfield for an opportunity to move on to the national competition, held in Mobile, Ala.