Randall wins Miss Majorette
Aleesa Randall, of Washburn, won the Miss Majorette of Missouri title in the beginner pageant 16-plus division in May and then placed 11th in the nation at the America's Youth On Parade competition at Notre Dame University at South Bend, Ind., on July 21 through July 24.
Once considered one of Missouri's most promising young twirlers, Randall literally fell off the majorette map after suffering a devastating injury while skiing.
"Several years back I broke my left leg in two places," Randall recalled. "After spending six months in a cast, I lost all my competitive edge in twirling."
But after a slow and tedious recovery, she began twirling again, only this time as part of a team.
"I competed with the Showstopper Stars for the past three years, and this year. I decided to give my individual competition another shot," Randall said.
"After having a long talk with my parents and coach, we determined I would use the remainder of the year to try and catch up on all the things I had missed," Randall continued. "Never in my dreams had I imagined having the opportunity to travel to nationals. The experience in itself was a life-learning lesson."
The Miss Majorette of Missouri pageant was held in Diamond on May 2 and 3. In twirling competition, three individual events - super X-strut, twirl solo and modeling - are averaged together for the overall winner. At the Diamond competition, Randall won first in solo and modeling and placed second in super X-strut to win her division and qualify for the national AYOP event.
At Nationals, only the top 10 places in each event are recognized along with the final top 20 averages of all three events. Randall placed third in super X-strut, 13th in modeling and 16th in solo and placed 11th overall.
Along with the beginner pageant at South Bend, Randall competed in the open events during the four-day competition. These events are open to all twirlers across the nation and world. In open competition, Randall placed fourth in beginner solo, fifth in intermediate X-strut and fifth in two-baton solo.
Like all focused athletes, Randall put in many hours of practice before Nationals, meeting at least three times a week with her twirl coach, Shelly Capps, of Neosho, and then practicing daily in the gym on her own.
"I give so much credit to my twirl coach. She was wonderful," said Randall.
Even Jason Horn, the Southwest basketball coach, was involved, opening the school gym for Randall's daily practices during her summer training.
Randall had special thanks for all her family and friends.
"Most importantly to my twirling coach Shelly Capps for all the time she invested in me, and all the hours she sat sewing on all my twirling costumes," said Randall. "A special thanks to my dad, mom, and Robbie for everything, they know how much I love them and appreciate their support."
Randall is the daughter of Gary and Judy Randall, of Washburn.