Gates was crowned Miss West Virginia 2012 Friday night.
At the time of her crowning, she was the reigning Miss Harrison County. She won Wednesday's preliminary competition in the evening gown category.
She will speak about her platform, "Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures," throughout West Virginia over the next year.
The Miss America pageant is in January in Las Vegas. The final night of pageantry and crowning of a new Miss America will be broadcast live on the ABC television network.
Others honored at the pageant were:
- First Runner-up Makayla Lewis
- Second Runner-up Maggie Powers
- Third Runner-up Olivia Staubs
- Fourth Runner-up Taylor Martin
- Melanne Pennington Award: Jackie Riggleman
- Four Points of the Crown Award: Kaitlin Gates
- Miss Congeniality: Morgan Smith
Judges also selected Morgan Breeden as Miss West Virginia's Outstanding Teen 2012. She will represent her state in August at the Miss America's Outstanding Teen pageant in Orlando.
Others honored at the teen pageant were:
- First Runner-up Krystian Leonard
- Second Runner-up Bailey Coleman
- Third Runner-up Julianne Brown
- Fourth Runner-up Emily Matlock