April 16, 2003
Johnston City resident named Purdue's 24th Golden Girl
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Christy Jayne Stallings of Johnston City, Ill., has been named Purdue University's 24th Golden Girl.
The announcement was made April 12 by David Leppla, director of Purdue University Bands, following a day of competition that included field tryouts and personal interviews.
Stallings, a broadcast journalism student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., was part of a record field of 16 contestants from California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
Stallings brings an impressive resume to Purdue's top twirling position. She has been a National Baton Twirling Association competitive twirler for 19 years; a world champion in the two baton category; and a national champion in two baton, three baton and flag baton.
"Ever since I was little, people said, "You need to grow up and be the Golden Girl.' Ive kind of stepped up to that," Stallings said.
Stallings said her two years as featured twirler with the Marching Salukis Band of Southern Illinois prepared her well for the Golden Girl position.
"I wanted to make sure I was mature enough before I took on the world. I'm ready," she said.
"I look forward to being Golden Girl. It's a great opportunity and will open so many doors."
In moving the solo twirling auditions from fall to spring in 2003, Bands auxiliary director Alisha Kuckartz accomplished her goal of attracting more top-caliber twirlers to campus. In 2003 there were just six contestants for the four solo twirling spots, which also include the Girl in Black and the Silver Twins.
Kuckartz said the move also bolsters the longstanding tradition of twirling excellence at Purdue as the university prepares to celebrate 50 years of the Golden Girl tradition in 2004. All twirling candidates had to be accepted by Purdue to audition.
Over the years Purdue's Golden Girl has enjoyed a national reputation as one of the top twirlers in the United States. Former director Al Wright began the tradition in 1954 when quarterback Lenny Dawson was referred to by the media as Purdue's "Golden Boy." Wright put gold sequins on Juanita Carpenter and named her the "Golden Girl." After Dawson graduated his nickname faded, but the Golden Girl has continued as a Purdue tradition.
Stallings and the other solo twirlers will make their first appearance with the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band at the Sept. 6 Purdue home game in Ross-Ade Stadium against Bowling Green..
Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations director, (765) 496-6785, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org