When her name was announced as the 2012 Henry?County?Fair Queen, Kaci Storm, 18, of Geneseo had a moment of doubt.
“I think I stood still for a second and my face just dropped,”?she said. “I then took a step forward hoping they actually did call my name.”
With the realization of her win sinking in, Storm said she had to fight to keep back her tears.
“I did manage to hold myself together,”?she said.
A 2012 Geneseo High?School graduate, Storm said she entered the fair queen pageant out of a desire to serve Henry County and a love of pageants.
“For some reason, I just love pageants. I’m normally not a person who likes to be in the spotlight, but I love being on a pageant stage,” she said.
Storm previously participated in the Junior Miss Henry?County?Fair contest and was a contestant in last year’s fair queen pageant.
Earlier in the week, she was named first runner-up in the Geneseo Music Festival?Queen pageant.
“The fair queen pageant and the Music Festival pageant are two completely different pageants, but having just done the Music Festival pageant helped me with my nerves. I’d just been through an interview process. It made me more confident,” said Storm.
As a track-and-field athlete who is heading to Iowa State University in the fall to major in materials engineering and run track, Storm said the fair queen judges wanted to know how she’d handle all of her responsibilities.
“During the interview portion, they asked me how I’d fit being queen with all my other activities. I told them I wouldn’t be in the pageant if I wasn’t 110 percent committed. Henry County is my home, and I love it,”?she said.
While Storm admitted to being nervous during the interview portion of the pageant, it was the on-stage pop-up question portion that scared her more.
“Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but it’s ultimately just you and the judges. During the pop-up question, you’re facing everyone in the grandstand,” said Storm. “That got my nerves going.”
Being named the 2012 queen “is a great honor,” said Storm. “All of the contestants were very good. It could have been anyone, in my opinion.”
Storm is the daughter of Brad and Shari Storm of Geneseo.
Amelia Martens, 20, of Orion, was first runner-up, while Mackenzie Hoon, 19, of Geneseo, was second runner-up.
Martens is the daughter of Patrick and Annette Martens of Orion. Hoon is the daughter of Brent and Jeni Hoon of Geneseo.
Hoon also was named as the recipient of the People's Choice Award.
McKenzie Ranson, 17, of Orion, received the Photogenic Award and Laurel Whitford, 21, Cambridge, received the Miss Congeniality Award. Two contestants Alexandria Keleher, 17, of Orion, and Ashley Simmon, 17, of Colona, were named winners of the Director's Award.
Page 2 of 2 - A new memorial award was given out this year in honor of the late Emmy VanDeVoorde and the first year recipient was Arianna Keleher, 17, of Orion.
Jamie Franck, 14, of Cambridge, was crowned the 2012 Junior Miss Henry County Fair. She is the daughter of Bob and Julie Franck of Cambridge.
Franck also received the Junior Miss Photogenic Award.
Michaela Goodley, 14, of Annawan, was first runner-up. She is the daughter of Chris and Kim Goodley.
Second runner-up in the junior miss division was Rachel VanDeVelde, 14, of Galva. She is the daughter of John and Sue VanDeVelde.
Kayla Kendall, 12, of Galva, received the Junior Miss People's Choice Award.
Additional award winners in the junior miss division were: Jordan VanMelkebeke, 14, Kewanee, who received the Junior Miss Emmy VanDeVoorde Memorial Award; Junior Miss Congeniality, Sara Kibler, 12, Geneseo; and the two winners for the Junior Miss Director's Award were Savannah Rakestraw, 13, Geneseo, and Lindsey Meyer, 14, of Galva.
Kennadi Rico, 7, Annawan, was crowned the 2012 Little Miss Henry County Fair. She is the daughter of John and Courtney Rico.
Caroline Girten, 5, of Geneseo, was first runner-up. She is the daughter of Bill and Tricia Girten.
Second runner-up was Sydney VanHyfte, 7, of Cambridge, daughter of Troy and Laura VanHyfte.
Other award winners were: Kendall Stourt, 7, of Kewanee, ticket trophy award and the People's Choice Award; Madelyn Mooney, 5, Geneseo, photogenic award; McKenna Leachman, 5, Geneseo, Miss Congeniality Award; Little Miss Emmy VanDeVoorde Memorial Award, Miranda Reed, 5, Cambridge; and the Director's Awards, Alexis Spivey, 7, Galva, and Larissa Swanson, 7, of Cambridge.