July 25, 2021

Two crowned at Miss Iowa USA pageant

West Des Moines resident Kelsey Weier was crowned 2017 Miss Iowa USA, while Carley Arnold of Chariton, earned the Miss Iowa Teen USA crown at the Newton High School Center for Performance Sunday evening.

Weier was on the stage with five finalists before the crowning, but said she wasn’t fairly calm because she has been there before — being the 2015 first runner-up — and thought she did very well in nearly all the sections of the competitions.

“Part of me was calm just because I put so much time and effort into preparing for this pageant. I wanted it so bad,” Weier said. “But another part was a little worried because I thought I killed it in every other part of the competition, but I was just hoping to seal the deal with the final question, so that’s where I was a little nervous.”

Weier celebrated on stage with Arnold, who grabbed the Miss Iowa Teen USA crown Sunday, as the crowd gave each of them a standing ovation. This was actually Arnold’s first time competing in the pageant, but she didn’t take the victory for granted and was shocked to hear she had won.

“I had to stop and think about it for a little bit to even realize what had actually happened,” Arnold said. “I’m looking forward to getting out into the community, volunteering and just meeting a bunch of new people and getting involved everywhere.”

Several hundred people attended Sunday’s 2017 Miss Iowa Pageant, which was the fifth consecutive year of it being held in Newton. Sunday’s pageant was the official preliminary stage to the national pageants, where Weir and Anole will compete for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, respectively, next summer.

Pageant contestants were judged in three competitions: evening gown, swimsuit — teens competed in active wear — and interview. The winners receive thousands of dollars in college scholarships and will make several public appearances over the next year.

Also on Sunday, the 2016 Miss Iowa USA, Alissa Morrison, and 2016 Miss Iowa Teen Hannah Bockhaus said farewell to their prestigious positions and congratulated the newly crowned ladies on their latest accomplishments.

Contact Alex Olp at aolp@newtondailynews.com