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Tayma Vanek of Colfax wins state DYW title


August 9, 2018 | View PDF

Tayma Vanek

Colfax senior Tayma Vanek waves to the crowd after she was presented with the Washington Distinguished Young Woman medal at the close of competition.

Tayma Vanek of Colfax topped a field of 11 contestants to win the state Distinguished Young Woman title Saturday night at the Pullman High School auditorium. She will represent the state in the national competition next year in Mobile, Ala.

The daughter of G. Todd and Amy Vanek of Colfax, Tayma also was a co-winner in three of the event's competition segments. They included self-expression, talent and the judges' interview. Each event carried a $250 prize. She performed a piano solo, "Waterfall" by John Schmidt, which she also played while winning the Colfax DYW event.

"I wasn't expecting to win, just have a good time and do my best, so it was a surprise when they called my name," Tayma said Monday.

She will be a senior this year at Colfax High School where she competes on the cross country and track teams.

She has applied to attend Southern Virginia University to study either psychology or child and family development.

"I'm really excited to meet people from all over the country. I will focus especially on the self-expression portion to prepare for nationals, but will be practicing all five categories a lot in preparation."

Keeley Burnes of Clarkston was named first runner-up and received a $1,700 scholarship, and Daphne Felsted of Pullman was second runner-up and received a $1,000 scholarship. Burnes was a co-winner with Vanek in the judge's interview and talent segments.

Emily Schultheis

Emily Schultheis, right, Colton-Uniontown entrant, provided a little stabilization for Tayma Vanek after she was announced winner of the 2019 state DYW title Saturday night at the Pullman High School auditorium. Vanek is the fourth Colfax entrant to take the state title in the event which was formerly known as Washington Junior Miss.

Felsted, daughter of Devon and Deborah Felsted of Pullman, was a co-winner of the interview segment with Vanek and a co-winner of the fitness event with Burnes.

Burnes is the daughter of Tiffany Coles of Clarkston and the granddaughter of Tim and Tina Coles, former long-time teachers at Garfield/Palouse.

Also competing Saturday in the state event was Emily Schultheis who represented Colton and Uniontown.

Vanek is the first state winner from Colfax since Stephanie Eng won the state title in what was then the America's Junior Miss competition in 2005. Sharon Marler of Colfax won the state title in 1977, and Linda Felber, who was a judge at Saturday's event, won in 1964 and went on to win the national title.

Kendyl Druffel of Colton and Rose Jao of Pullman, both former state winners, were emcees of the state competition which was moved from Beasley Coliseum to the Pullman High School auditorium this year.

Nine of the state competitors Saturday entered state from their town competitions and two entered through the DYW-at-large program.

Jana Osborne, Daphne Felsted, Tayma Vanek and Keeley BurnesEmily SchultheisDaphne FelstedTayma VanekEmily Schultheis

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