Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Junior Miss Runner-Up Comes out a Winner after All

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Junior Miss Runner-Up Comes out a Winner after All

Article excerpt

Byline: RAINA DEVOID

It turns out coming in second place at a St. Johns County beauty pageant does have its rewards - at least it did for Junior Miss contestant Kayla Loveday.

The winner of the county's inaugural pageant was Macie Soler-Sala, who was also a winner of the Miss Nease pageant at her school. Instead of walking the stage at the state competition, however, Soler-Sala suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in December. As the first runner-up Loveday, of St. Augustine High School, was placed in the state pageant March 1.

"I had been interested in the Florida Junior Miss program since a young age, so when I was given the chance to participate in the 2008 program it was like a dream come true," Loveday, 18, said.

When the big day arrived in Perry, Fla., Loveday recalls she was excited just to experience such an extravagant to-do. So one can imagine her emotions after hearing her name called out as the winner of the state competition.

"I distinctly remember my roommate and closest friend at Junior Miss telling me 'I told you so!' after my name was announced," Loveday said. "I am very honored to be Florida's Junior Miss and I know that the competition this summer is going to be an amazing experience."

She will now represent Florida at the America's Junior Miss scholarship program this summer in Mobile, Ala., where she will compete for nearly $100,000 in college scholarships. By winning the Florida pageant, Loveday received a $2,500 scholarship and $250 each for winning the Self Expression, Spirit of Junior Miss and the Fitness preliminary categories.

Loveday said with three weeks to prepare for the state program she was overwhelmed with filing paperwork, perfecting her talent, learning a new eight-minute fitness routine and preparing her clothes for the event.

The new challenge didn't faze the girl who is a full-time dual enrollment student at both St. Augustine High and St. Johns River Community College. Loveday plans to graduate this spring with a high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree. She is also the captain of the varsity cheerleading team, has a 4. …

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