Miss Illinois USA

Miss Illinois USA
Shanon Lersch, Miss Illinois USA 2008

The Miss Illinois USA pageant is a competition that selects the representative for the state Illinois in the Miss USA pageant.

Illinois is one of the most successful states in the competition. It is one of only four states to have won four or more Miss USA titles and one of only three states to win two Miss USA titles in consecutive years. All four winners came from the early history of the competition, with their last Miss USA being Karen Morrison, who held the title in 1974. The pageant's most successful years were from 1984 to 1996, when all but two delegates made the cut at Miss USA. That period was followed by many years without a placement, until Jill Gulseth finished third runner-up in 2005, the state's highest placement since 1995.

In 1986, sisters Tricia and Laura Bach won the title consecutively, the first occasion of this in the history of the Miss Universe organization.[1] Later on in 1994 Kathleen Farrell, sister of Miss Florida USA 1988 won the title, making the state pageant the first to have two sisters compete in Miss USA.


Results summary


  • Miss USA winners: Myrna Hansen (1953), Marite Ozers (1963), Amanda Jones (1973), Karen Morrison (1974)
  • Second runners-up: Laura Bach (1985), Nichole Holmes (1995)
  • Third runners-up: June Pickney (1958), Debra Niego (1979), Jill Gulseth (2005)
  • Fourth runners-up: Celeste Ravel (1954)
  • Top 6: Lisa Morgan (1991)
  • Top 10: LaVonne Misselle (1984), Tricia Bach (1986), Joan Berge (1987), Gina Zordani (1988), Kelly Holub (1989), Bernadette Przybycien (1996)
  • Top 12: Kathy Schmalen (1976), Carla Myers (1990), Kathleen Farrell (1994)
  • Top 15: Dianne Daniggelis (1955), Marianne Gaba (1957), Jean Donnelly (1962), Beverly Lacek (1967), Catherine Warren (2006)


  • Miss Photogenic: Elizabeth Curran (1977), Nichole Holmes (1995)
  • Best State Costume: Kelly Holub (1989)


Year Name Hometown Age1 Placement at Miss USA Special awards at Miss USA Notes
2011 Angela Sparrow Chicago 26 Indiana Pacers Pacemate
2010 Ashley Bradarich Homer Glen 23
2009 Ashley Bond Oswego 24 Chicago Bulls Luvabull'
2008 Shanon Lersch Chicago 25 Chicago Bulls Luvabull
2007 Mia Heaston Chicago 25
2006 Catherine Warren Lake Forest 23 Top 15 Contestant on The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman
2005 Jill Gulseth Geneva 21 3rd Runner-up
2004 Molly Graham Montgomery 24
2003 Agnieszka Zakreta Rolling Meadows 24 Miss Tourism International 1999 as Miss Poland
2002 Amanda Reynolds Marion 23 Contestant at National Sweetheart 2001
2001 Rebecca Ambrosi Chicago 24
2000 Constance Stoetzer Abingdon 26
1999 Christina Lam 19 Later Mrs. Tennessee America 2007 and 1st runner-up to Mrs. America 2007 under her married name, Christina Ryan.[2]
1998 Mandy Lane 21
1997 Jennifer Celenas Chicago 21
1996 Bernadette Przybycien 24 Semi-finalist, Finished in 10th Place
1995 Nicole Holmes Marion 21 2nd runner-up Miss Photogenic
1994 Kathleen Farrell Chicago 23 Top 10 Semi-finalist, Finished in 7th Place Miss Illinois 1992 (Non-finalist Talent award at Miss America 1993), Sister of Miss Florida USA 1988 who was 3rd runner up at Miss USA 1988
1993 Susie Park Chicago 21
1992 Leilani Magnussen 21
1991 Lisa Morgan 20 Top 6 Finalist, Finished in 4th Place
1990 Carla Myers 24 Top 12 Semi-finalist, Finishing in 10th Place
1989 Kelly Holub Buffalo Grove 21 Semi-finalist Best State Costume award
1988 Gina Zordani Palos Heights 23 Semi-finalist
1987 Joan Berge Arlington Heights 21 Semi-finalist
1986 Tricia Bach Elmhurst 22 Semi-finalist Miss Teen All American 1983, sister of Miss Illinois USA 1985
1985 Laura Bach Elmhurst 23 2nd Runner-up 1st runner up at Miss Oktoberfest 1986, sister of Miss Illinois USA 1986
1984 LaVonne Misselle Chicago 19 Semi-finalist
1983 Vanessa Romine Rockford
1982 Carla Danielson Chicago
1981 Leslie Renfrow Chicago 4th runner up at Miss Oktoberfest 1980
1980 Karen Groat Princeton 18
1979 Debra Ann Niego Oak Lawn 3rd Runner-up Miss Oktoberfest 1979
1978 Suzanne Piche Lombard
1977 Elizabeth Curran Park Ridge Miss Photogenic
1976 Kathy Schmalen Oak Lawn Semi-finalist
1975 Connie Reif Wheeling
1974 Karen Morrison St. Charles Winner semifinalist at Miss Universe 1974
1973 Amanda Jones Evanston Winner 1st runner up at Miss Universe 1973
1972 Jani Hall
1971 Paulette Breen
1970 Carol Pepoon
1969 Christine Jalloway
1968 Sandra Wolsfeld Miss World United States 1970, semifinalist in Miss World 1970
1967 Beverly Lacek Semi-finalist
1966 Cheryl Setser Woodstock 18
1965 Diane Gortz
1964 Karen Wiesbrook
1963 Marite Ozers Kirkland Winner semifinalist at Miss Universe 1963, represented Chicago, IL in Miss World USA 1962, did not place.
1962 Jean Donnelly Semi-finalist
1961 Dianne Duffey
1960 Pat Thompson
1959 Arlene Kaye
1958 June Pickney 3rd Runner-up
1957 Marianne Gaba Chicago Semi-finalist Playboy playmate September 1959
1956 Mickey Blair
1955 Dianne Daniggelis Semi-finalist Winner of the 1955 National Press Photographers Pageant
1954 Celeste Ravel 4th Runner-up
1953 Myrna Hansen Chicago Winner 1st runner up at Miss Universe 1953; previously was a finalist in the National Press Photographers pageant in 1953
1952 Sherri Matulis

1 Age at the time of the Miss USA pageant


  1. ^ "Sisters reign, Bach to Bach". Chicago Sun-Times. 1986-02-25. p. 24. 
  2. ^ "2007 Mrs America". http://www.tftj.com/db/delegates.htm/33/Mrs/2007. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 

External links

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