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Kenya Welch of Franklin, a student at Franklin High School, was crowned 2012 Miss New Hampshire Outstanding Teen at Pinkerton Academy's Stockbridge Theatre Sunday night. Pictured on left is Miss New Hampshire 2012 Megan Lyman. On the right is Miss New Hampshire Outstanding Teen 2012 Eileen Kelley. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)

Franklin resident crowned Miss NH Outstanding Teen

DERRY - Asked what her average weekend is like, Franklin resident Kenya Welch didn't hesitate.

"Well, I dance all day and I dance all night," said Welch, a student at Franklin High School and reigning Miss Lakes Region. "I'm always dancing."

Welch was crowned 2013 Miss New Hampshire Outstanding Teen on Sunday night after wowing the judges with her poise, wit and contemporary dance to "Chasing Cars."

First runner-up was Kennedy Chaney of Northwood, the reigning Miss Hooksett. Second runner-up was Brooke Mills of Concord, the reigning Miss Bedford. Miss Strafford County Caroline Carter of Dover and Miss Capital Area Jaycee Greenberg of Windham were third and fourth runners-up, respectively. Miss Congeniality was Allie Nault of Manchester, the reigning Miss Apple Harvest.

Just over 30 Granite State teens competed in the weekend-long pageant at Derry's Stockbridge Theatre. The pageant for teens between ages 13 and 17 is affiliated with the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Competition and was hosted by reigning Miss New Hampshire Megan Lyman and actor and entertainer Mark Willis.

The top 10 contestants were revealed at the start of Sunday evening's final competition.

Other finalists were Miss Merrimack Leah April of Auburn, Miss Seacoast Amy Soraghan of East Hampstead, Miss Londonderry Jana El-Sayed of Hudson, Miss Greater Derry Emily Curtis of Merrimack.

During the three-hour final competition, each finalist faced a panel of judges were they were scored on the basis of school transcripts, physical fitness, interviewing skills, talent and evening wear. Over $3,000 in scholarship awards was given Sunday, with prizes given to the overall winner as well as the first, second, third and fourth runner-ups and Miss Congeniality.

In her farewell speech, Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen 2012 Eileen Kelley of Randolph thanked her friends and family for an unforgettable year.

Her advice to Welch?

"Just take a deep breath and jump right in," Kelley said. As the 2013 Miss New Hampshire Outstanding Teen, Welch earned a $2,000 college scholarship and will now represent the Granite State at America's Outstanding Teen competition in Orlando, Fla., in August.

aguilmet@newstote.com



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