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Hayes crowned Miss Arkansas Tech University 2013
Hayes crowned Miss Arkansas Tech University 2013

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (February 22, 2013)--Kristen Hayes of  Ozark was crowned the 58th Miss Tech on Friday night during the 2013 Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant at Witherspoon Auditorium.

Daughter of Sheryl and Kevin Shepherd, Hayes won the Nona Dirksmeyer Memorial Talent Award, the Sandi Hodges Memorial Dance Award and the lifestyle and fitness swimsuit competition during Friday’s pageant.

Hayes competed in last year’s Miss Tech Pageant and finished as fourth runner-up. This time around it was the 2012 Miss Arkansas Tech University --- Claire Hodgson of Russellville --- placing the crown on Hayes’ head. 

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Hayes. “It’s going to be an awesome experience. I am so excited and so ready. I absolutely love Tech and I am honored to be able to represent our university. I fell in love with Tech the first day I set foot on campus.”

Hayes, who was the 2011 Arkansas State Fair Queen, is a senior health and physical education major at Arkansas Tech. She was sponsored in the 2013 Miss Tech Pageant by Shepherd Lawn Care.

Among the prizes that Hayes receives as Miss Tech is a two-semester tuition scholarship at Arkansas Tech and more than $3,000 in gift certificates from area businesses.

In all, more than $19,000 in gifts and scholarships were awarded during the pageant.

Hayes will represent Arkansas Tech in the 2013 Miss Arkansas Pageant July 14-20 in Hot Springs. Her platform is “Stay Alive: Don’t Text and Drive.”

“One of my really good friends was killed in 2007 because she was texting and driving,” said Hayes. “I felt that this was a wake-up call and I needed to do something about it. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make sure that every person I come in contact with around the state of Arkansas knows about the dangers of texting and driving.”

Chelsea Wilson of Fort Smith was first runner-up on Friday night. Emily Patton of Danville (second runner-up), Katelyn Friday of Horatio (third runner-up) and Shelby Holland of Fort Smith (fourth runner-up) rounded out the top five among 21 contestants.

Wilson won first prize in the CenturyTel Interview competition, while Patton captured the Lindsey Ahrens Vocal Performance Award.

Jessica Pate of Springdale won the Miss Congeniality prize. Paige Montgomery of Van Buren and Trinity Phillips of Hindsville shared the Virginia Bachman Scholastic Achievement Award for highest grade point average among the contestants.

Other contestants in the 58th Miss Tech Pageant were Christin Beggs of Chula, Haven Brock of Haskell, Skylar Cox of West Fork, Danielle Lee of Hector, Breahna McCool of Bauxite, Katie Morgan of Clarksville, Samantha Reeves of Dardanelle, Nikki Roberts of Conway, Alisha Sears of Clarksville, Tiffany Squires of Sherwood, Hannah Sturch of Batesville, Kristina Sykes of Russellville and Tabitha Taylor of Lavaca.

Dr. Jim Collins, professor of horticulture at Arkansas Tech, serves as executive director and master of ceremonies for the Miss Tech Pageant. Delta Zeta sponsors the event.