GREENVILLE – “I’ll try my very best to be the best Annie Oakley representative I can,” said 2015 Miss Annie Oakley, Mariana Ramos. “She seems really wonderful… I wish I could have met her.”
Mariana had to shoot from 110 feet on July 23 to defeat her top challengers, First Runner-up Katie Hurd and Second Runner-up Hannah Gulley. Eleven contestants pushed the distance to 100 feet on Wednesday before the six finalists could be determined. At 105 feet four missed the mark, requiring a re-shoot for Second Runner-up. The contest was decided at 110 feet.
Sixteen-year-old Mariana is a home schooled sophomore. She is sponsored by Stebbins Excavating. Mariana acknowledged she’d only practiced for the contest one time this year, however this was her third attempt to seek the title.
Mariana had the additional honor of being awarded for Best Costume. Annie Oakley Committee member and former Miss Annie Oakley 2006 Hannah Linebaugh couldn’t remember if or when this had happened in the past.
Katie, 15, is a sophomore at Greenville High School. She is sponsored by PEPCON C F Poeppelman. Katie said she practiced every day it hadn’t rained for the last month and a half. This was her second attempt at the title.
Hannah, 16, is a junior at Greenville High School. She is sponsored by Chicken Kitchen II. Hannah said she practiced for this event at least once a week. It was her third try.
The long distance shooting was likely the result of mild weather with only a slight breeze, according to event sponsors and family members. Last year Haley Maher was the last shooter standing at 80 feet, earning the title of Miss Annie Oakley 2014. Courtney Osborne became Miss Annie Oakley 2013 by defeating her opponents at 95 feet.
Courtney was one of only three anyone could remember to shoot for a second title following her reign in 2013. None has achieved this, however Courtney isn’t done yet. “I’ll be back next year,” she said.
Haley’s message to the new Miss Annie Oakley was “The year is going to be what you make of it. I wanted to have fun… that’s what I got.” Later she acknowledged she was a little sad it was over. Will she try again? “I haven’t decided,” she said.
The three other finalists were Morgan Hissong, Courtney and Daisy Brim. Also vying for the title were Tara Goubeaux, Rebecca Thornhill, Hannah Bingham, Shawna Osborne and Alyssa Baumgardner.
PHOTO CAPTION: Left to right: First Runner-up Katie Hurd, Miss Annie Oakley 2015 Mariana Ramos and Second Runner-up Hannah Gulley. (Bob Robinson photo)