Grace Trammell and Maya Luscomb were named the 2019 Distinguished Young Women of Keizer on May 11 (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

Eight of Keizer's smartest and most talented young women battled it out at the 45th annual Distinguished Young Women of Keizer event last weekend. But only two would stand out among the rest.

McNary High juniors Maya Luscomb and Grace Trammell were each recognized as the 2020 Distinguished Young Women of Keizer at Dayspring Fellowship Church program on Saturday, May 11. 

Last year's Distinguished Young Women's winners Chloe Campbell and Elizabeth Burleson were there to give Luscomb and Trammell their awards. 

“I'm so honored and amazed that I got to be a part of this experience,” Trammell said. “These people are all so fantastic and so talented and I'm so grateful that I got to work with all of them.”

“Winning was a surprise to me because of how wonderful everyone else was.”

The eight participants spent six weeks practicing their talent and worked on a multitude of choreographed dances. 

“The last six weeks have been crazy. It's very fast and frantic, but these girls are a joy to be around,” said Danielle Dial, who was the chairperson for this year's event. “Watching them grow throughout this has been fun to watch.”

Both Luscomb and Trammell received $2,000 in scholarship money to go towards their plans to pursue higher education after graduation next year — Luscomb received an additional $500 for being recognized as the scholastic award winner. 

“All of these girls are so talented. Any one of us could have won,” Luscomb said. “It's such a great honor, because this has been going on for years and years and it's amazing that it is still continuing today.”

Luscomb and Trammell will go onto compete in the state competition, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 3 at Chemeketa Community College. 

Five judges were responsible for determining five different requirements for each contestant. Scholastic achievement and interview skills were each worth 25 percent of their total score. The talent portion of the contest was worth 20 percent, while fitness and self-expression were each worth 15 percent. 

For her talent, Luscomb played the cello, performing the song Prelude to Bach. While one of her goals is to someday become a music teacher, Luscomb would really like to pursue her law degree at either Georgetown University or the University of Michigan. 

“I want to try and get a lot of scholarships for college, and law school is very expensive for me, and this has been a great way to meet a lot of other people who are driven,” Luscomb said. 

Along with participating in orchestra at McNary, Luscomb also gives private cello lessons, plays club soccer and is a part of National Honor Society. 

Trammell, who is an all-state choir performer, showed off her vocals by singing The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson. 

Her plan for the future is to attend Oregon State University with the goal of being a therapist for people who struggle with eating disorders. 

Trammell participates in a litany of after school activities (swim team, Honor Society, mission trips, etc.), but is glad that she was able to make time to participate in this event. 

“It's been so busy to do all this, along with all my other extra curricular activities, but meeting these girls has been amazing,” Trammell said. “It's been such a humbling experience.”

While Luscomb and Trammell received the main recognition, the other six contestants proved why they belonged in the discussion for the Keizer's Distinguished Young Woman — all eight participants have an average GPA of 3.94.

Victoria Beede:

Beede is a junior at West Salem High School and hopes to pursue a career in pediatric anesthesiology at Baylor University. She gave the first performance of the evening, singing her rendition of Hello Buenos Aires. 

Beede is involved in multiple honor societies and participates in the choir, Spanish and theater programs at West Salem. She also took home $500 of scholarship money for winning the spirit award.

Kylie Dean:

Dean attends McNary and is involved with the Celtics symphony and orchestra programs. She also competes at the varsity level in swimming and track and field. She plans on attending Brigham Young University after high school to study zoology. 

For her talent, Dean showed her skills at the viola by playing the song Minuet by Bach. 

Julie Dieker: 

The Willamette Valley Christian student has the aspiration to be a teacher one day and is heavily involved choir and student council at her school. She also competes in soccer and basketball.

Dieker's talent included a sport-themed routine that included her ball-handling skills with a soccer ball, as well as a basketball. 

Haley Hughes:

Hughes is a four-sport athlete at McNary (football, soccer, swimming, lacrosse). She also is very musically inclined as she participates in orchestra and symphony. She hopes to attend a research university after high school with the goal of going into the medical field. 

Her talent included a performance of the song Swallowtail Jig on the violin. 

Mia Troncoso:

Troncoso attends Willamette Valley Christian and is involved with the high school worship team and choir. She also gives piano lessons and competes in track and field. Her plan is to attend Baylor University to study aerospace engineering. 

She played the song Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum by Claude Debussy on the piano for her talent. 

Kendall Tacchini: 

The McNary High student competes for the Celtics in both basketball and track and field. She is also a member of the thespian society and has a passion for digital photography. She plans to attend Oregon State University in 2020 with the career goal of becoming a veterinarian. 

Tacchini, for her talent, sang I Love Play Rehearsal, by Be More Chill.