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June 29, 2010

Miss ULM Kelsi Crain crowned Miss Louisiana 2010

Early Sunday morning, ULM sophomore Kelsi Crain felt compelled to verify what felt like a dream.

"I had to read my sash just to make sure it really happened," said the kinesiology major with a laugh.

Kelsi was crowned Miss Louisiana 2010 by Miss Louisiana 2009 Katherine Putnam, a ULM senior, at the Monroe Civic Center, Saturday, June 26.

A Monroe native, Kelsi is the daughter of Tana and Creg Higdon. She competed on the platform "Heart for the Arts" and said she hoped to raise awareness of the positive impact art makes in the lives of young people, as well as its intrinsic value in improving academics.

Kelsi, who performed a captivating Dance en Point for a packed house, was a preliminary fitness winner Thursday night. She was named "People's Choice" in a record-breaking Internet voting competition Saturday night.

Crowned Miss ULM in October, 19-year-old Kelsi is a Miss Louisiana pageant novice. She is quick to thank her supporters, including her grandmother, who, despite chemotherapy treatments, was among the crowd Saturday night. "It really helped me to know I had so many supporters, including my ULM family."

"Humbled" was the word she used to describe her feelings when crowned at the pageant. "I was standing among 27 deserving, talented, and beautiful young women, so it was very humbling to be the last one standing."

Kelsi hopes her success will benefit her little sisters, Molly, 6, and Kendyl, 17. "This pageant is a perfect example that with determination, you can accomplish anything. I hope they carry that with them."

She is already moving into a new apartment—exclusively reserved for Miss Louisiana—at ULM, the official sponsor of the state pageant. Soon, she will begin traveling the state and preparing for the Miss America pageant in January.

Of that new adventure, she said, "It's about time Louisiana returned home with a Miss America crown."

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