|Two women received Miss Tennessee qualifying titles at the combined Miss University of Tennessee at Martin/Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival Pageant held Saturday night at the Student Life Center at UT Martin. Kristen Lackey, of Savannah, left, won the 2013 Miss UT Martin crown. Madison Hardy, of Nashville, right, won the Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival title.
MARTIN, Tenn. – Kristen Lackey, of Savannah, was crowned Miss University of Tennessee at Martin at the combined Miss UT Martin/Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival Pageant on Saturday night at the Student Life Center on the UT Martin campus. The UT Martin student won the 2013 title and the opportunity to compete in the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant this summer in Jackson.
Also headed to the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant is Madison Hardy, of Nashville, who won the Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival title. She is a graduate of Belmont University.
“[It feels] absolutely incredible,” Lackey said, following her win. “As an athlete at the school this is something that I did not expect.”
Lackey is a softball player at UT Martin, and said she decided to compete in the pageant to combat pageant stereotypes.
“I just wanted to show people that nobody can define me. I define myself,” she said.
Lackey’s philanthropy involves fighting modern day slavery and human trafficking, and she said she loves to compete and is ready for the Miss Tennessee pageant.
“I’m still in shock. I can’t believe it,” Hardy said after winning the Soybean title. “I really want to go to Miss Tennessee. That’s just a goal that I’ve set.”
Hardy’s philanthropy, Tennessee: Get Up and Go, is an initiative she started to encourage Tennesseans to get out and be active in their communities. She said she is looking forward to having a great time at the Miss Tennessee pageant.
The winners led a field of 13 contestants, and a total of $4,400 was awarded to the titleholders and runners-up. Miss UT Martin 2012, Bethany Meeks, of Jackson, crowned Lackey. Hardy was crowned by Ginny Hankins, of Ripley, 2012 Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival.
Meeks and Hankins were hostesses for the evening and entertained the audience with piano and vocal selections. Hollie Holt, of Martin, directed the pageant.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with two talented, bright and beautiful young ladies. They are both competitive and ready to start their year of service.” Holt said. “They will prepare and train for the next six months for competition in fitness, talent, interview and evening gown. They will work to raise donations and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network and children’s hospitals as well as their own personal platforms.”
Runners-up for the Miss UT Martin crown were: Jordan Gunn, of Dyersburg, first; and Jerrie Carrington, of Woodland Mills, second. All members of the Miss UT Martin court must be UT Martin students.
Runners-up for Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival were Kendall Schulz, of Knoxville, a student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, first; and Sarah Gross, of Clarksburg, a student at Austin Peay State University, second.