MARION, Ill. -- Stephanie Dearwester finished second runner-up Saturday night in the Miss Illinois pageant at the the Marion Cultural and Civic Center.
Dearwester, 21, a Paloma resident and reigning Miss Quincy, was one of 25 contestants vying for the crown.
"Stephanie was phenomenal," Lindsey Hess, executive director of the Miss Quincy Scholarship Program, told The herald-Whig in a telephone interview. "I was so impressed with her during this competition."
Hess said Dearwester's strong suit was her interviewing and ability to respond under pressure.
"Hands down, she absolutely nailed all of her questions," Hess said.
Dearwester was unavailable for comment. She was tied up with post-pageant requirements until after press time.
Another local participant, Angelica Niemann of Quincy, the reigning Miss Macomb and a former Miss Quincy, finished among the top 11, according to Hess.
Dearwester's platform during the pageant focused on agriculture.
Niemann's platform emphasized healthy living and smart nutrition choices.
Dearwester tied with her Miss Illinois roommate, Miss East Central Abby Foster, for her portion of the preliminary lifestyle and fitness award on Thursday night. She also won the Miss America Social Media Brand Ambassador Award.
Niemann also won her portion of the Miss Illinois lifestyle and fitness preliminary competition
Foster was crowned Miss Illinois and received a $10,000 scholarship and will compete for Miss America in Atlantic City, N.J., in September.
In the Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen competition, 17-year-old Sophia Marcolla of Quincy, was second runner-up, earning a $500 scholarship.
Marcolla was also won the Academic Scholastic Achievement Award and a scholarship of $150.
"Sophia is an exceptional young lady. She is deeply passionate about serving her community and has a beautiful spirit," Hess said. "Sophia's dedication to preparing for the state competition was evident in her performance this week. I could not be more proud."
Anna Dietrich of Liberty and Mia Blaesing of Mount Sterling participated in the Miss Illinois Princess program, a noncompetitive mentoring program that paired the two with one of the participants competing for Miss Illinois.