GREENVILLE—Madison Werner earned the title of Miss Annie Oakley following the finals Thursday night at the Darke County Fairgrounds.
She fired the winning shot at 95 feet away from the balloon target. The second night of competition began at 60 feet.
Madison, the 18-year-old daughter of Marla Werner and stepdaughter of Jerry Marker, only missed one shot in both nights of shooting, but saved that one miss by hitting the second shot she and the other candidates are given each round.
Second place went to Alexa Robinson, 15-year-old daughter of Kristina and Rich Robinson of Greenville, who failed to hit the target in both tries also at 95 feet away. Third-place winner Lexi Dillman, daughter of Leslie Clark and Brian Dillman, was eliminated from competition at 85 feet.
Other finalists who were eliminated the second night of competition were 12-year-old Brooklyn Dillman of Arcanum at 60 feet; Riley Trittschuh, an 18-year-old graduate of Greenville High School, at 65 feet; and Miriam Evans, 17, of Rossburg and home-schooled, at 75 feet.
“I was shocked,” said Madison, who also served as Miss Annie Oakley in 2019-20. “I wasn’t going to run at first but I talked with other people on the committee and they said I should do it again. I prayed every time I sat on the bench. It was God’s plan.”
She said she learned how to shoot from a friend a little older than she took her under his wing. That person was Ethan Garland.
Madison is a graduate of Greenville High School and also holds an associate’s degree in science from Edison State College and Central University.
“Annie Oakley was special to me growing up,” the new title-holder said. “She was known nationwide. Everybody knows about her.”
“I was very surprised,” said Alexa about her first runner-up position Thursday night. “It was my first year in placing. I competed two years ago.”
The first-place winner in the finals received $300; second place, $200; and third place, $100, with the Annie Oakley Center Foundation sponsoring the contest. Those on hand to present them with their monetary prizes were the Annie Oakley Center Foundation, which was represented by Eileen Litchfield, Bonnie Perry, and Don and Cathy Wagner.