By Leah Sander
AKRON — Kayleena Agnew is the 2021 Miss Akron 4th of July.
And she achieved it in her first time competing in the contest.
Agnew, 18, the daughter of Jeff and Tina Agnew, was crowned Sunday, June 27, at the Akron Community Center by Miss Akron 2019 Mackenzie Fear. She bested four other girls for the title.
“It feels good. I was definitely not expecting it, but it was a really great experience too,” she told InkFreeNews afterward.
“I encourage everyone else to do it,” she added. “It was a really good opportunity, and always follow your dreams.”
The 2021 Tippecanoe Valley High School graduate has also participated in the Distinguished Young Women of Fulton County competition.
During her onstage question at Sunday’s competition, Agnew was asked: “What has been the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make and how did you overcome the challenge of making the decision?”
“The hardest decision I’ve ever had to make was quitting softball,” said Agnew. “My love for the game will always be there and I will continue to open up my own softball organization one day when I get older.”
For her evening wear, Agnew wore an ice-blue A-line gown with a sweetheart top and wide straps accented by a rhinestone belt and silver jewelry. She wore hot pink sheath dress with a black and white jacket, wide black belt and black pumps with straps for her professional wear.
For her introductory outfit showcasing her personality and interests, Agnew wore a University of St. Francis shirt to reflect where she will be a freshman this fall. She wore scrub pants in honor of her future career in surgical technology. She also carried a softball mitt to show her love of softball and a Bible to reflect her faith.
The Miss Akron queen’s court included first runner-up Faith Kamp.
The 19-year-old daughter of John and Melinda Kamp, Kamp was also chosen as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.
She was asked by Fear for her onstage question: “If you could relive one experience that you have had, what would it be and why?”
“If I could relive one experience, I would choose to be a part of the student council again at my old high school (TVHS) because it helped me grow in my relationships as well as my leadership skills,” she said.
Kamp wore a red mermaid gown with long sleeves and silver jewelry for her evening wear. For her professional wear, she wore a tan skirt suit with a salmon top and tan pumps.
For her introductory outfit, the Western Governors University sophomore donned a Pike Lumber Co. shirt to reflect her current employer and where she hopes to continue to work after getting her degree in business management. She also wore an Akron Lions Club pin to show her involvement with the organization and red, white and blue tennis shoes to reflect her love for her country.
Second runner-up was Kaydence Shepherd.
She’s the 17-year-old daughter of Josh and Stephanie Shepherd.
Fear asked her the onstage question: “What experience that have you had would you want to pass on to your children and why?”
“An experience I’ve had that I’d like to pass on to my children would be to always be yourself,” said Shepherd. “When I was in middle school, I had a hard time with people being really mean to me and I doubted who I actually was, but I’m starting to learn who I really am, and that’s something I’d love to pass on to my children.”
The TVHS senior wore a navy A-line gown with a tulle skirt and sequined applique on a mesh insert top for her evening wear. For her professional wear, she wore a gray skirt suit with strappy nude heeled sandals.
To show off her personality and interests, she wore her varsity TVHS cheer uniform, Subway work apron and favorite Vans shoes. She carried a tennis racket to reflect the sport she plays.
Shepherd plans to study sonography after high school.
Other contestants included Karli Hogue and Jessa Wilhelm.
Before the Miss Akron competition, the Miss Sparkler and Mr. Firecracker competition was held. Winning Miss Sparkler was Rissie Sexton, the daughter of Sarah and Josh Sexton. Mr. Firecracker 2021 is Keegan Richardson, the son of Corey and Lexy Richardson.