LEXINGTON — The Big Sandy Valley left its imprint on this year’s Miss Kentucky competition, with two of the top five contestants, including the new Miss Kentucky, tracing their roots to the region.
Jessica Danielle Casebolt, daughter of Samuel and Carol Casebolt, of Pikeville, bested 30 competitors to be crowned 2012 Miss Kentucky. The Georgetown College sophomore focused on heart health awareness for her platform. She competed under the Miss Goldenrod sash.
Casebolt, who is teaching herself guitar, sang an updated version of The Carpenters’ “Superstar” for the talent competition. She is currently majoring in political science and plans to attend law school after graduating.
Also in the top five was Annie Franklin, who placed third runner-up. Franklin is the daughter of Scott and Mikka Darby Franklin, of Winchester. Mikka Darby Franklin spent much of her youth growing up in Floyd County, before moving to Magoffin County, and was 1988 Miss Kentucky.
Annie Franklin is the granddaughter of Bill Jack and Debbie Darby, of Floyd County, and Tamara Holbrook, of Magoffin County, and great granddaughter of Lorraine Holbrook, of Magoffin County. Mikka Darby Franklin said Annie’s aunt and uncle, Terry and David Lykins, of Magoffin County, played a big role in helping her prepare for the pageant.
Annie Franklin, who competed as Miss Monticello, also earned the swimsuit award during preliminary competition Thursday night. She is a junior studying theater arts at Morehead State university and plans to pursue a career in musical theater. Her platform was “H’art of the Matter: Much more than art.”
Rounding out the top five were Miss Fayette County, Olivia Henken, first runner-up; Miss Bowling Green, Jefra Bland, second runner-up; and Miss Jeffersontown, Ashley Ferry, fourth runner-up.