Dillman is 2023 Miss Annie Oakley


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — With a perfect shot from a distance of 105-feet, Booklyn Dillman became the youngest Miss Annie Oakley at age 13. This was her second year to compete in the contest.

Dillman was perfect through 13 rounds of shooting and didn’t miss until her first shot from 90-feet. Fortunately, contestants get two shots at each distance. She was also forced to rebound at 95-feet when she missed her first shot and then again at 100-feet. But from the winning distance, Dillman was able to hit the target on her first attempt.

Although 105-feet is not a record, it is one of the furthest distances recently recorded. Dillman made it to the finals last year, but finished in about sixth place. “I’ve been practicing for a while now, like two years,” said the 2023 Miss Annie Oakley. A very excited Dillman said she was confident shooting from 105-feet, but “the other, second place, was really good.” Finishing in the runner-up position was Kiera Spencer. Spencer only missed four shots in the contest, unfortunately, two of them were at 105-feet.

Dillman said going up against the 14 other ladies in the contest was “nerve-racking, but really fun.”

Dillman is the daughter of Kyle Dillman and Amber Shotz. She is an eighth grader at Arcanum-Butler Middle School.

Spencer, 15, is the daughter of James and Kelly Spencer, and is a sophomore at Ansonia High School.

Finishing as second runner-up after successfully hitting the target at 95-feet was Samantha Beyersdorff. The 14-year-old is the daughter of Ryan and Teresa Beyersdorff and is a freshman at Greenville High School;

With one of the biggest fields of young ladies the contest has had in several years, Annie Oakley Festival President JoEllen Melling said she was impressed with all of the young ladies vying for the title this year. She added that they were all poised and beautiful.

Event organizers, Dennis and Shelley Soward, put together an incredible event and gave the contestants every opportunity to be successful. The event couldn’t run as smoothly as it does without them and the help they receive. One of those helpers is Shelley’s father. At 87 years old, Arnold Riffle continues to help with the event, as he has for the past 20 years, by loading a new balloon each time a competitor hits the target. Shelley pointed out that he is very particular about the size of the balloons, and they all have to be the same.

Additional contestants, including the 2023 Costume Contest winner Lexi Shoop, were Rachael Wright, Alia Hunt, Lexi Dillman, Kenszie Glass, Alexa Robinson, Lona Dillman, McKenna Yant, Isabella Gulley, Lauren Wright, Amber Neitzelt, and Gracie Dietrich.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

No posts to display