A former Miss Chicago who has worked as a Chicago Bulls cheerleader was crowned Monday as Miss Illinois USA 2017. Whitney Wandland will travel to the Miss USAPageant. Date and locations of the pageant will be announced later. It will be televised by the Fox television network.

Miss Chicago 2015

Wandland reigned as Miss Chicago 2015, which is part of the Miss America Organization. She is a dancer with the Chicago Luvabulls after beginning training as a child in such varied styles as ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop.

She is also signed as a model and actress with Stewart Talent Management. Wandland is a budding fashion stylist who hopes to own her own ready-to-wear line.

Illinois at the nationals

If Wandland is crowned, she will become the fifth contestant from Illinois to win the national competition. Previous winners were Karen Morrison in 1974, Amanda Jones in 1973, Marite Ozers in 1963 and Myrna Hansen in 1953. Illinois is successful training ground for pageant contestants, with several finishing high on the list of semifinalists, and two being named Miss Photogenic.

She would be the first Miss Universe from Illinois, but several from the state have come close as semifinalists.

Miss Illinois Teen USA

Also crowned on Monday was Miss Illinois Teen USA 2017 Olivia Bohleber. She is a student at White County High School in Carmi, Illinois. Olivia will represent Illinois at next year’s Miss Teen USA Pageant. The date and time of the pageant will be announced later. This year’s pageant was held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Olivia would be the first Illinois contestant to reign at the national level since the state began participating in 1983. Two teen winners from the state have gone on to reign as Miss Illinois USA and represent the state at the national pageant.Olivia was crowned by Miss Illinois Teen USA 2016 Olivia Pura. During her reign, Olivia campaigned for Warriors for Ross, St. Jude’s, the USO and Special Olympics Illinois.

She has founded the Blanket Buddies Project, which raises money to provide blankets to children in hospitals.

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