Seventeen young ladies competed in the fourth annual Miss Western Nebraska — Miss Gering Scholarship Pageant on Saturday at the Historic Midwest Theater, downtown Scottsbluff. The winners of the Miss Western Nebraska and Miss Gering 2015 titles will advance to the Miss Nebraska state pageant in North Platte in June 2016, where they will compete for the title of Miss Nebraska. The winners of the three outstanding teen titles will also advance to the state pageant in June 2016. Qualifying for Miss Nebraska Pageant from the eight contestants in the Miss competition, ages 17-23, were Miss Western Nebraska Marie Allison, 22 of Bellevue, a Creighton University graduate student and Miss Gering LaRissa McKean, 20 of Omaha, a University of Kansas student. LaRissa McKean also won Miss Congeniality and the People’s Choice Award. Qualifying for the Miss Nebraska's Outstanding Teen pageant from the nine teen contestants, ages 13-17, were Miss Sugar Valley Teen Courtney Pellan, 16, of North Platte; Miss Gering Teen Ashlynn Haun,15, of Scottsbluff; and Miss Western Nebraska Teen Grace Heggem,15, of Scottsbluff. New this year to the pageant was the addition of Miss Sugar Valley Outstanding Teen category.