Lubbock native captures Miss Wayland title

Saturday's scholarship pageant at Wayland Baptist University started with some soulful dance numbers and ended some three hours later with the crowning of Labrina Lang, a sophomore from Lubbock, as Miss Wayland 2003.

In between, 32 coeds from WBU showed off evening gowns and the Top 10 finalists showed off their talents before a panel of four judges and a full audience in Harral Auditorium. Judges narrowed the record number of contestants to 10 just before an intermission break. Included in that group were Ragan Spradling of Amarillo, LeAudra McKay of Lubbock, Amy Grisham of Plainview, Martha Ann Trull of Floydada, Hollie Wright of Whitharral, Ashley Applewhite of Olney, Jennifer Brigman of Eula, Miranda Turner of Tulia, Nicole Phillips of El Paso and Lang.

Following the break, the 10 ladies took the stage individually for the talent competition, followed by another narrowing of the field. The Top Five included Turner, Spradling, Trull, Grisham and Lang.

At this point, finalists were presented with a final question, dealing with the use of patriotism in marketing following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. While the judges made their final decisions, outgoing Miss Wayland 2002, Ashley Wood, took her farewell walk.

The final finish was then announced, starting with Fourth Runner-Up Miranda Turner, Third Runner-Up Amy Grisham and Second Runner-Up Martha Ann Trull. As Ragan Spradling was announced as First Runner-Up, cheers went up from the audience as they realized Lang's victory.

Wood presented Lang with a variety of gifts from local merchants, including a semester's meal plan from Sodexho Food Services, cash donations, gift certificates and gift baskets and other items, including a key to the city of Plainview. She also receives a scholarship from the university.

Amy Grisham earned the title of Miss Congeniality from her fellow contestants. Other judges' awards were presented to Kathy Reed for Best Talent, Nicole Phillips for Best Interview and Grisham for Best Evening Wear.

Lang, 19, is the daughter of Laura Lang Wilson and a graduate of Estacado High School. She is a music education major at Wayland and wants to be a secondary choral director in the future. She is in the International Choir, Wayland Singing Women and the Pioneer Band Color Guard.