Heather Kendrick is a violinist and University of Michigan graduate (Go Blue!) with degrees in Music Education and Organizations. As an arts professional, she works with her platform daily and is Program Director for the M-Prize Competition, the world’s largest competition for chamber music. You may have caught her on last season’s “America’s Got Talent” with Detroit’s electro-pop violin band, NUCLASSICA. After taking time away for work and school, a former Miss Michigan encouraged Heather to compete in her last year of eligibility. Thankfully, she takes advice well and is thrilled to represent her beloved Michigan on the Miss America stage.
Amanda LaCount is a well-known hip hop dancer, actress, and choreographer. She has been dancing since she was 2 years old. In 2015, she moved from Colorado to Los Angeles to follow her dreams of becoming a professional dancer and actress. Some of her most notable performances include dancing with Keala Settle from “The Greatest Showman” on The Ellen Show, Meghan Trainor on Radio Disney Music Awards, Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” music video after winning her Instagram challenge, dancing with Disney Descendants 2 Cast on Dancing With The Stars, and dancing on two episodes of The Voice. In addition, she began her own National Dance Tour “Amanda LaCount Live.” Amanda has her own movement: #BreakingTheStereotype which promotes body positivity and the belief that any “body” can be a dancer. Amanda’s passion is dance, but her goal is to inspire others to follow their dreams.
Professional Figure Skater
Hannah Miller grew up in Williamston, Michigan, and is a National Figure Skater for Team USA. Her career highlights include the 2011 U.S. novice ladies champion, 2012 U.S. junior ladies bronze medalist, and 2012-13 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist. At the 2016 U.S. National Championships, she placed 7th, marking her best Nationals finish to date. Hannah feels she is just like any other college student; she attends Michigan State University, likes to read and do yoga, and absolutely loves her dog Coconut.
Leah O’Connor grew up on a dairy farm in Croswell, Michigan. She attended Michigan State University, where she was the Big Ten champion in the women’s 1,500 m, 3,000 m steeplechase (4 times), and 5,000 m (twice). She also holds the current MSU records for the distance medley relay, 1,500 m, mile, and 3,000 m steeplechase as well as the #3 NCAA Championship record for the 3,000 m steeplechase.
World Champion Swimmer
Allison Schmitt was born in Pittsburgh, Pa and raised in Canton, MI. She began swimming at the age of 9 and joined the Ann Arbor Swim Club at the age of 11. Her high school swimming career was decorated, including a trip to the 2007 Junior National Meet. Allison graduated from the University of Georgia, where she is still listed as one of the top ten contenders 17 times over 7 events.
World Champion Soccer Player
Lindsay Tarpley was raised in Kalamazoo Michigan and is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. Lindsay has had success at every level of her soccer career from USA Youth National Teams to the full Women’s National Team. In 2002, she captained and led the U-19 USA women to a World Cup championship scoring the “golden goal” in double overtime in the final game.