Posted 5 months ago
By John Axtell
Two young women who in the past won titles in the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Division are now titleholders in the “Miss” division and will compete for the crown as Miss Nebraska next summer.
Paxton High School senior Alex O’Connor of Keystone was crowned Miss Northwest yesterday afternoon in Chadron while the title of Miss Chadron went to Western Nebraska Community College freshman Kodi Baumann of Chadron
Chadron State College senior Justy Bullington was named the 1st-runnerup to both crowns and will succeed O’Connor or Baumann if either is unable to fill out their term. Both titleholders receive one-year tuition waiver scholarships to Chadron State along with their crowns.
O’Connor, whose talent is dance and whose platform issue is Be Heart Healthy, was the first to be crowned and looked completely stunned when her name was called. She says that’s because she was.
“I really, really was. I wasn’t called for any category so when they called my name, I was in complete and utter shock.”
Baumann was a bit more prepared for hearing her name because she’d already been announced as the talent winner for a vocal solo, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t totally surprised as well.
“I honestly didn’t think it was going to be me. It’s my second year competing in Miss and I was taking every opportunity that I’ve had at this pageant as a learning experience. Hearing my named called was amazing and being a young competitor going to Miss Nebraska, it’s going to be exciting.”
Baumann’s platform issue is Cross Your Heart, Not Your Fingers.
Coincidentally, Baumann and O’Connor were the 1st-runners-up to Miss Chadron OT and Miss Northwest OT, respectively, three years ago.
Baumann went on to become Miss Panhandle 2012 before moving up to the Miss division while O’Connor returned to Chadron last fall to win the Miss Chadron OT, going on to be the non-finalist talent winner at the state pageant last June.
The other category winners this time in Chadron were Chadron State senior Chelsae Riggs of Bridgeport in both Eveningwear and Lifestyle-Fitness…swimsuit to most people…Bullington for interview winner…and WNCC freshman and self-employed hair stylist Mikala de Koning of Gering Miss Congeniality.
There were 10 competitors in the pageant, and most of the other 8 indicated they would be competing in other pageants later…including the Miss Alliance-Miss Panhandle Pageant.