Seizing her moment

MISS TRACY 2020, Cora Leonard, congratulates Miss Tracy 2021, Jenna Spanovich.

Jenna Spanovich is Miss Tracy 2021; Lauren Verlinde is 1st runner-up; Rachel Przybilla is 2nd runner-up

By Per Peterson

Jenna Spanovich proved once again Sunday that the stage is never too big for her.

Spanovich, a bubbly red head with a never-ending smile and voice suited for a Disney animated movie, won the 2021 Miss Tracy Scholarship Program on Sunday evening at Tracy Area High School, in front of parents (in person) and hundreds of fans online.

“I did not expect my name to be called at all,” Spanovich said after Sunday’s show. “I was going through my head thinking I’m gonna hear this name, or this name, or this name … and it wasn’t mine at first, but it ended up being mine. It was just an adrenaline rush, and it was amazing.”

Lauren Verlinde was named 1st runner-up, and Rachel Przybilla was 2nd runner-up. Spanovich will receive a $1,500 scholarship; Verlinde a $900 scholarship; and Przybilla a $700 scholarship.

Spanovich, a speech standout, is definitely no stranger to the stage, having most recently starred as Ariel in Tracy Area High School’s production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” However, she admitted to being more nervous Sunday than she ever has been on the big stage.

“I was definitely nervous tonight,” she said. “I didn’t have the usual control I have on the stage. I’ve gotten nervous before, but not to this level. I guess I just had so many emotions going into it and wanted to give my best.”

Spanovich, who sang “How Far I’ll Go” for her talent presentation, said she was sad that this summer’s Miss Tracy experience has come to an end, but she appreciated being able to be together with her classmates during the pandemic.

“With COVID and not seeing my friends, it hurt everyone, but then going through this and getting to see my best friends, my girls, every single week, and growing with each other and becoming more confident, it just meant the world to me,” she said.

This year’s program was different than any others, in that, outside of parents, and directors and anyone else associated with production, no one was allowed in the high school gym because of COVID-19. On the bright side, it made spotting her parents in the “crowd” all that more easy.

“It was weird, but I was glad to see my parents’ faces out there,” she said.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.