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Four to compete in national pageant

Chilton County is known for its pageants, and that reputation continued with four girls topping the state in the 2017 Miss United States Agriculture Pageant.

Chyanne Martin will compete for the title of Miss United States Agriculture, while Abby Wright will compete for teen miss, Lexie Deavers for petite miss and Maleigha McGalliard for future little miss.

Each of the girls qualified for the national competition after being crowned in the state of Alabama.

In order to reach this point, all four won the prelims and followed it up with another victory at the state level. Next up is the national competition, which will be held in Birmingham on June 24.

Wright is 14 years old and finished first among a field of 14 girls in the state competition.

Leading up to the event, about a month prior, Wright searched for dresses and went through makeup and hair practice sessions.

“I had to get myself ready, so that I knew exactly what I was doing,” Wright said. “It was overwhelming at first, but it became easier over time and my mindset was right at the end.”

Categories included interview and formal wear, as well as on-stage questions and introduction. This same format was judged for the majority of age groups.

According to Wright, a fun wear portion of the event was optional and involved the girls dressing up in attire that helped promote agriculture.

Wright had competed in school pageants in the past, but nothing to the degree of the competition she faced in Miss United States Agriculture.

“It always makes me happy to think that I can accomplish something like this,” Wright said.

She looks forward to helping other girls explore the option of competing in pageants.

“Maybe they can develop the love of doing pageants and competing like I have,” Wright said.

Deavers is nine years old, but experienced on the pageant scene, having been crowned Little Miss Peach Queen in 2015.

“The Peach Pageant really prepared her the whole year before,” said Holly Deavers, Lexie’s mother.

Deavers has no problem expressing herself, which makes it no surprise that the interview portion of the event is her favorite part.

“I get to meet the judges and they know more about me and who I am,” Deavers said.

The interviews remained consistent with the theme of agriculture, as the contestants were required to answer questions based on the topic.

The opening weekend of Peach Park was one of the first times that the whole group had been together to make an appearance. The group will do two appearances per month, with the possibility of even more individual appearances.

“It is a good feeling to have kids come up to you and want their picture taken with you,” Martin said. “I feel like I can be a role model.”

McGalliard is about to turn five years old and already has a crown.

Her first experience competing in a pageant outside of Chilton County came during the prelims in Prattville in August 2016.

“She loves doing pageants, and is able to compete alongside one of her best friends,” said Amanda McGalliard, Maleigha’s mother. “It’s just a fun thing to do.”