By Alaina Bartel
Times-Junction Staff Reporter
Growing up, Paige Wiers was used to being in front of a crowd. She participated in musical theater and was actively involved in singing at her church.
Nerves never get the best of her because of this. However, there is always the fear of the unknown.
“What if I trip and fall or what if I hit the wrong key on the piano? What if I don’t know a great answer to the question they’re about to ask,” Wiers said. “I try not to let those thoughts keep me down...I try to stay with a positive attitude.”
That positive mindset helped her win the fitness and lifestyle preliminary competition last Friday at the 2017 Miss Ohio contest.
The event was held at the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield with two nights of preliminary contests on Thursday and Friday and the crowning of Miss Ohio on Saturday. A total of 19 women were vying for the title and a $10,000 scholarship, which was ultimately won by Sarah Clapper of Columbus.
To win, the women are judged in five categories: a private interview, which makes up 25 percent of their score, lifestyle and fitness at 15 percent, talent at 35 percent, evening wear at 20 percent and an onstage question at five percent.
Wiers, 21, won the fitness and lifestyle contest in her group, with the help of an already healthy lifestyle as a nursing student at Calvin College in Michigan.
“A lot of my preparation looked like good nutrition, making sure that I am eating healthy, eating the right amount of carbs and proteins,” she explained. “Trying to cut back on some sugars, but also just making sure that I am living a healthy lifestyle in total.
“I’m by no means crash dieting or counting macros or anything crazy, just incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my everyday life," Wiers added.
She said part of her motivation for her fitness routine was her brother, Hunter Wiers.
“He’s only a year older than me and he used to always tease me growing up. He would call me noodle arms because I was just a very lanky child. In sixth grade I was five (feet) eight (inches), just like I am today. I hit a growth-spurt pretty young so I was really awkward growing up,” Wiers said.
In the talent portion of the event, Wiers played “Defying Gravity” from the musical “Wicked” on the piano. She has been playing piano for a majority of her life which added to the many reasons she pursued the Miss Ohio scholarship program.
Competing in this year’s Miss Ohio contest was one of many competitions she’s been a part of since her senior year of high school. In the past, Wiers participated in the Willard Miss Flame contest, Miss Maple City in Norwalk, Miss Heart of Ohio and she was most recently crowned 2017 Miss North Coast in Brunswick.
Winning that competition gave her the ticket to participate in this year’s Miss Ohio contest with her platform “S.A.V.E.” or Sustaining A Valuable Earth. She aims to promote enviornmental sustainability through encouragement of simple, eco-friendly lifestyle choices such as refusing, reducing, reusing and recycling materials.
As far as future competitions, Wiers said she’s not sure if she will take the stage next year. She said the Miss Ohio program is an all-encompassing journey and it will be hard to put her all into both her senior year of the nursing program and the contest.
However, she credits her hometown for helping her succeed in the program thus far.
“Willard has always been my home,” Wiers said. “I was born and raised in Willard and I’ve gotten so much community support for this. To me, being able to walk around and have people be proud of how I’m representing my town has been so influential to me in wanting to really make Willard proud.
“Willard is such a small town, everyone knows everyone pretty well and so having the opportunity to represent Willard in this competition and representing the area of Willard in front of the whole state of Ohio has been a blessing to me,” she continued. “I’ve just felt so honored to be able to represent my hometown through this program.”