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As the Owen County 4-H Fair and Horse Show kicked off Monday night, a new Miss Owen County was crowned.
Katie Haines, the 16-year-old daughter of Mike and Cindy Haines, received the honor over 13 other contestants.
Ashley True was the fourth runner-up, Jessica Knott was third, Kristen Haines was second, and Danielle Hoop was first runner-up.
This year’s Miss Congeniality was Katie Jo Rohling and Miss Photogenic was Brittany McDonald.
Katie Haines, who won Miss Pre-Teen pageant in 2005, said she had hoped to place during this year’s pageant, but never dreamed of receiving the crown.
“I was one of the youngest girls competing this year,” Haines said. “There were a lot of beautiful girls up there and I was just hoping to place at best. When they started calling out the names I didn’t even think I was going to place and I thought, ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’ I thought because I get pretty shaky during the pageants that the judges had noticed and then they called out my name as Miss Owen County and I just couldn’t believe it.”
While many girls competing go to great lengths to prepare for pageants, Haines said she did little preparation.
“There’s a mandatory practice that everyone competing has to attend,” Haines said. “They showed us how they wanted us to walk and then I went back on Sunday just so I could practice my walk again. My mom helped with my hair, nails and makeup and that was really about it.”
Haines said the best part about competing in pageants is the confidence it brings.
“Being in the pageants builds up a lot of self-confidence,” Haines said. “Just going out there and saying 10 words in front of a crowd of people makes it so much easier to just sit down and talk to people.”
Haines said the waiting is the downside to all pageants.
“I hate waiting,” Haines said. “I was number 11 out of 13 girls and it felt like all I did all night was wait.”
Haines, who will be a junior at Owen County High School this year, said she has cheered for Owen County for two years.
“I played soccer and I love to be outdoors,” Haines said. “My dog is one of my best friends and I have an older brother, Chris.”
Haines said she has a busy week ahead of her, as she will attend the fair every night and assist with other pageants.
“I’m so unbelievably shocked,” Haines said. “I’ve waited for this forever and watched my older friends compete, but I never thought it would be me. I’m really happy to be Miss Owen County, but all of the girls were absolutely beautiful.”