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EA’s Lancaster wins DYW

Mary Thompson Lancaster didn’t want to leave the interview portion of the Distinguished Young Women of Escambia County’s 2019 program on Saturday.

That was a good thing as the Escambia Academy senior was named the county’s new Distinguished Young Woman.

Lancaster said she believes her interview portion put her over the top to win.

“I felt very comfortable with the judges because they were all so nice, and I could really be myself with them,” she said. “When the time was called for the end of the interview I did not want to leave.”

She performed a musical theater piece to “Mamma Mia” for her talent. S

Lancaster also won the Spirit of DYW award, the Fitness award, Interview award and several scholarships.

She said that the week before the program, the girls practiced at Coastal Alabama Community College in Brewton every day on stage.

“It was a great week because I made so many friendships with all of the girls participating,” she said. “We practiced hard, but we did find time to have fun and be silly. During the actual competition, everyone was so nice, and we all supported one another. We did this by saying ‘good luck’ before a routine, curling someone’s hair back stage or just reassuring a friend that she did her best on stage.

“I am so glad that I got to meet and become close with so many girls from different schools because I was the only one from Escambia Academy,” she said.

Lancaster received the Academic Excellence Scholarship from Mississippi State University; $7,500 per year from Faulkner University; the Presidential Merit Scholarship of $44,000 from the University of Mobile; $4,500 per year from the University of Montevallo; and cash scholarships for winning the Spirit award of DYW, talent (first runner up) and interview.

Lancaster is the daughter of Steve and Mary Beth Lancaster of Atmore. She has two sisters, Page Lancaster Gibson and Bailey.

The following are those who won awards at the DYW program:

• Spirit of DYW: Mary Thompson Lancaster

• Be Your Best Self Essay Contest: Mary Grace Milligan

• Fitness: Mary Thompson Lancaster

• 1st Alternate Fitness: McKenzie Faulk

• Self Expression: McKenzie Faulk

• 1st Alternate SE: Bentley Webb

• Talent: McKenzie Faulk

• 1st Alternate Talent: Olivia Simmons and Mary Thompson Lancaster

• Interview: Mary Thompson Lancaster

• 1st Alternate: Mary Grace Milligan

• Scholastics