Miss Williamson crowned Laurel Queen

Montoursville teen named Miss Congeniality, 1st runner-up

photo provided The 2017 Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen is Miss Williamson Abbey Carleton, center. Second runner-up is Miss Athens Sarah Montrose, left, and first runner-up and Miss Congeniality is Miss Montoursville Caroline Hernandez, right.

WELLSBORO — Miss Williamson Abbey Carleton was crowned the 2017 Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen during Saturday evening’s coronation ceremony.

Named first runner-up was Miss Montoursville Caroline Hernandez. Second runner-up was Miss Athens Sarah Montrose.

“I was completely shocked and very humbled by the entire experience,” said the newly crowned Laurel Queen. “I am proud that I was able to represent my school in such a good way.”

Carleton won a $1,500 college scholarship. Hernandez received a $750 scholarship and also a $250 scholarship for being named Miss Congeniality by the other queen candidates. Montrose was awarded a $500 scholarship.

The 2017 Laurel Queen is the daughter of Raquel and Mark Gee, of Tioga Township, and Carrie and James Carleton Jr., of Charleston Township.

“I was shocked and proud to be named Miss Congeniality by my peers,” said Hernandez, a daughter of Marta and Carlos Hernandez, of Montoursville. “I wasn’t expecting it. All of the girls were so sweet. Extreme happiness was my first reaction and then lots of tears.

“I was even more shocked when I was named first runner-up. I was acknowledged by my peers and by the judges,” she added. “It was amazing. I can’t even put it into words. My experience as a Laurel Queen candidate will always be something I cherish,” she added.

“It was such a great feeling to be named third runner-up,” said Montrose, daughter of Deborah and Vincent Montrose, of Columbia Cross Roads. She represented Athens Area High School as a Laurel Queen candidate.

“I was honestly surprised that the judges thought so highly of me and that I made that much of an impact. I wasn’t shocked to learn Caroline was first runner-up and Miss Congeniality and Abbey was queen. Both of them deserved it,” she said.

“We were unanimous on the top three,” said Oliver Richard Bartlett, of Hughesville, a former Tioga County commissioner who serves as Laurel Queen judge coordinator. “Each candidate’s answer to her question always plays a role in our final decision.”

Other judges included Renata Stiehl, news director and anchor with WENY-TV, Horseheads, New York; Jacob Michaels with 93.3 WBZD-FM, Muncy; David Cohick, director of Tioga County Emergency Services in Charleston Township; and Lisa Mazzarella, of 89.9 WVIA-FM, Pittston.

The 10 semi-finalists included the queen and her court plus Miss Bucktail Emalea Jo Mills, Miss Central Mountain McCartney Register, Miss Millville Ariana Bish, Miss Montgomery Mackenzie Day, Miss South Williamsport Rebecca Nash, Miss St. John Neumann Sarah Harbach and Miss Troy Rebecca Case.