WISCONSINREPORT.COM (06/22/2009) - Miss Madison, Kristina Kelly Smaby was crowned Miss Wisconsin Saturday night in Oshkosh. Smaby was the final choice from a field of 26 contestants from around Wisconsin. Smaby is a ballet dancer from Holmen. The newly crowned Miss Wisconsin is the fourth Miss Madison title holder to win the state crown since 2003. Smaby became Miss Madison in February and will now advance as Miss Wisconsin to the 2010 Miss America pageant in Las Vegas next January.
Smaby beat out Miss Racine Sha-Nita Rhea. Second runner up was Miss Kenosha Vanessa Morrone, third was Miss Milwaukee Sara Thorne and fourth was Miss Fox River Valley Caitlin Smulski.
Miss Door County Katie Sawyer won a $500 award for best interview by a non-finalist.
Smaby attends Viterbo College in LaCrosse and is a senior majoring in business management. Her platform was titled "Connecting Generations." She wants to create an intergenerational program for young children, high school students, nursing home residents and other older adults.
The senior majoring in business management at Viterbo University won the Lifestyle and Fitness competition during the preliminary round Friday night. The audience enjoyed her dance en pointe to “River Deep, Mountain High” during the final competition in a two-hour program.
Former Miss Wisconsin Stephanie Klett was mistress of ceremonies at the Saturday 2009 pageant finale.
Other pageant finalists included fourth runner-up Caitlin Smulski, Miss Fox River Valley, a graduate of Carthage College; third runner-up Miss Milwaukee Sara Thorne, a Carroll University graduate; second runner-up Miss Kenosha Vanessa Morrone, a UW-Parkside freshman; and first runner-up Miss Racine Sha-Nita Rhea, a UW-Parkside senior who sang an operatic aria.
Rounding out the top 10 finalists were Miss St. Francis Deborah Hammernik, Miss Onalaska Sarah Beier, Miss Southern Wisconsin Taylor Klaustermeier, Miss Lakeshore Tosha Herrman, and Miss South Shore Sopen Shah.
Miss Milwaukee Clara Koehler was the first Miss Wisconsin. Koehler was crowned in 1924, the year the Miss Wisconsin pageant started. She was the first of seventeen Miss Milwaukees who went on to become Miss Wisconsin during the history of the Miss Wisconsin pageant.
This year's winner, Kristina Kelly Smaby, is only the sixth Miss Wisconsin who entered the contest as a Miss Madison representative. The first was Miss Madison Linda Johnson in 1970; followed by Miss Madison Maria Kim in 1987; Miss Madison Area Tina Sauerhammer, M.D. in 2003; Miss Madison Area Molly McGrath in 2004; Miss Madison-Capital City Christina Thompson in 2007; and, now, Miss Madison-Capital City Kristina Smaby in 2009.
Although many young women crowned Miss Wisconsin have gone on to place well in the final competition during the Miss America pageant, so far, only one has become Miss America. 1972 Miss Wisconsin Terry Anne Meeuwsen was crowned Miss USA in 1973. Terry Anne Meeuwsen entered the Miss Wisconsin contest as Miss Appleton.
Terry Anne Meeuwsen is a talk show host on television's 700 Club. Meeusen was born in De Pere, Wisconsin.
After her reign as Miss America, college work, and a stint with the New Christy Minstrels singing group, Meeuwsen went into television work at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee in 1978. She left the station in 1986 to raise her family.
Meeuwsen appeared numerous times in the 1980s as a guest co-host of The 700 Club, the flagship show of the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 1993, she became a permanent co-host on the show, sitting daily beside CBN founder Pat Robertson. Since 2000, she has also co-hosted an additional CBN show, Living the Life, along with comedian Louise DuArt. (Both shows are also shown on ABC Family.)
Meeuwsen has released one recording, Eyes of My Heart. She has also authored four books.
Meewusen and her husband, Andy Friedrich, have seven children. (The marriage is the second for each.) The couple has strongly advocated adoption, and most of their children are adopted. Their youngest three girls were adopted from Ukraine.