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SHEPHERDSVILLE – A dozen hours before taking the stage for the 2013 Miss Bullitt County Fair pageant, Elexia Claudelle Campbell felt anything but like a model.
Despite the fact that Monday morning was her 17th birthday, Campbell was up at 7 a.m. and getting in conditioning work for the upcoming cross-country season with her Bullitt Central teammates. The tough conditions under hot and sunny skies are a part of her summer regiment.
However, by 6 p.m., Campbell had made the change to beauty pageant contestant. After meeting with the judges and following that up with trips on the runway in casual wear, a swim suit and finally evening wear, Campbell was awe struck when her name was called last and 2012 Miss Bullitt County Fair Stephanie Stillwell was putting a crown on her head.
“I just wanted to have fun,” the daughter of Kimberly Curry and Matthew Campbell said after she emerged from the dressing area with crown and sash proudly on display. “When they called my name I was like a deer in the headlights. I was laughing. There were eight girls so placing was possible, but they were all so beautiful. They were good girls.
“I’m excited and surprised,” she added. “I met some really nice people and bonded with some of them like Jessica Ashworth (the fourth runner-up) who is in JROTC like I am.”
Campbell is the first to admit that she is no runway regular. In fact, Monday night’s performance was her first pageant since she was in the second grade. The birthday girl just smiled as she pointed out that she had not been a winner back at that time.
It was a suggestion from her grandmother that nudged Campbell into competing in this pageant.
“She just said ‘go give it a try’,” Campbell recalled. “You know I’ll make my grandma happy.”
On Monday, Campbell was sponsored by the First Bank Beauty Salon in Shepherdsville.
Campbell had gotten some basic pointers from friends about modeling and quickly found out that competing takes more dedication than she had realized. Still, despite the bad weather and the steady rain that drenched the Fair on Monday, Campbell enjoyed the experience.
“Even though there were only eight of us competing, it was tough,” she explained. “I wasn’t looking to beat anyone. I just wanted to make the most of the experience.”
While not sure that she is ready to become a regular on the runway circuit, Campbell will do it at least once more, as she will now represent Bullitt County in the Miss Kentucky pageant later in the year.
The 5-foot-4, 110-pound blonde with blue eyes is active in a lot of venues at Bullitt Central. She is the vice-president of the Beta Club and is part of the Environmental Club as well as her JROTC and cross-country work.
In her spare time, Campbell likes to play the piano and guitar along with singing. She also does some volunteer work.
While college is still a year away, Campbell thinks that her musical interests could be in her future, but she is not narrowing her dreams at this point. The University of Louisville is a possible future destination that she would like to follow, be it music or something in the medical field or just taking some liberal arts courses until she finds a career path.
The first runner-up on Monday just happened to be the sister of the second runner-up. Older sister Breanna Celeste Dawson, 17, took home the second biggest trophy while 16-year old sister Meredith Ryanne Dawson was the second runner-up. Both of the sisters attend North Bullitt High School where they are cheerleaders.
Breanna and Meredith are the daughters of Brent and Daneen Dawson. Each of the girls was sponsored by Legal Ease Legal Resources of attorney Cassie Schmidt.
The third runner-up was Erica Brooke Holder. The 16-year-old is the daughter of Brian and Glenda Holder of Brooks.
She attends North Bullitt High and was sponsored by Tropik Tan.
Winning the fourth runner-up honors was Jessica Nicole Ashworth, the 17-year old daughter of Cynthia Grigsby. She is presently attending Bullitt East High School. Ashworth was sponsored by Club Fitness.