Katiemarie Owen ’22 fulfilled one dream when she was selected to be the feature twirler for the Paladin Regiment, Furman’s marching band, as a freshman. A second came true Sunday when she won the title of Miss College Majorette of Illinois, qualifying her to represent Furman at the Miss Majorette of America pageant in July.
“In the baton world, it’s a big deal when you get to twirl for your school,” Owen said. “And when you go to the college level and you’re a feature twirler, you then get the opportunity to represent your school at nationals … By winning this past weekend, I represented Furman. I had Furman colors on. I wore my Furman costume, and I really represented what Furman is throughout my routine.”
Owen took first place in all three required divisions at the Illinois competition, which was held in her hometown of Zion, a suburb of Chicago, at Zion-Benton Township High School. She began baton twirling when she was “6 or 7” and quickly climbed to the highest levels of competition as member of the Razzle Dazzles, a Zion-based baton-twirling team.
Owen represented Team USA at the 2018 World Championships of Twirling in Lillehammer, Norway, where she took home gold and bronze medals.
“That’s definitely been the most high-stakes competition (for me),” Owen said.
The America’s Youth on Parade National Baton Twirling Association’s Miss Majorette of America Pageant will be held July 23-27 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
Owen is considering a double major in communication studies and art. She’s currently taking the MayX on-campus course Digital Storytelling Tools.