By JANIE SLAVEN
BOWLING GREEN —
The life of one young lady was changed in an instant this weekend.
McCreary County’s own Allie Leggett was crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2013 Sunday night at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
The pageant is a precursor for the national Miss USA competition to be held this June. Leggett, representing Lake Cumberland, was one of 35 contestants in the Miss and Teen divisions. The preliminary competitions were held Saturday night with the finals on Sunday.
A psychology major who attended WKU last fall, Leggett opted to take online classes this semester in order to prepare for competition. Now as Miss Kentucky, she will also have to balance school with an appearance schedule that will take her around the Commonwealth promoting a wide variety of causes.
Though no stranger to pageants, Leggett told The Record that this one made her more nervous because it was the Miss title. Having competed twice before for Miss Kentucky Teen USA, the 19-year-old has steadily worked her way up through the state pageant ranks.
“The first time I competed, I made the top 15 and last year I got first runner-up,” Leggett said.
The hours leading up to the big moment were no doubt nerve-wracking but Leggett is ready to make the most of this opportunity.
“It’s starting to sink in,” Leggett said of her win. “It’s a little overwhelming but exciting to think I’ll be competing on TV. This time I’ll be representing all of Kentucky, but I’m still representing McCreary County too.”
The community couldn’t be prouder. As Leggett returned home yesterday, she received a police and fire escort from the county line to the local courthouse — where dozens turned out to greet the newest Miss Kentucky.
“It’s a huge honor for her and a great thing for McCreary County,” Sheriff Gus Skinner observed.
McCreary County Judge-Executive Doug Stephens and County Clerk Eric Haynes were also among the officials who turned out to greet the beauty queen.
In the coming weeks, Leggett will be working with pageant director Connie Clark Harrison — a former Miss Kentucky USA herself — to prepare for the Miss USA pageant this summer. Of course, the winner of Miss USA 2013 will advance to the Miss Universe competition.
“I just want to thank everyone for the support they have given me and I hope they will continue to support me as I compete for Miss USA,” Leggett said.
Leggett’s titles also include Miss McCrearyFest 2010. The daughter of Pam Leggett of Whitley City, she is a 2012 graduate of McCreary Central High School.