LHS grad claims crown
Ashley Aull wins title of Miss Kansas USA ‘06
Overland Park One day into her reign as Miss Kansas USA 2006, Lansing native Ashley Aull soaked it all in from a chair in a hair salon.
Aull, who is in her second year of studies at Johnson County Community College, won the title Sunday night during the Miss Kansas USA Pageant at the college's Carlsen Center. Monday, she was getting her hair done and talking about her new title.
"It's overwhelming," Aull, a 20-year-old, said about winning the crown after finishing as fourth runner-up in last year's pageant.
Aull said she found it difficult to describe her feelings when the competition was down to two women and the other contestant's name was called as first runner-up.
"They didn't call my name and I won. It was incredible," Aull said.
Competing as Miss Leavenworth County USA, Aull was the judges' overall choice from a field of 31 contestants. Women competed in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview.
Though she said she wasn't apprehensive about any of the areas of competition, she said she worried about stepping on her evening gown and falling.
As for her favorite part of the competition :
"Swimsuit is actually my favorite, just because you can just be yourself and go out there and have fun and not have to worry about anything," she said.
Competing in last year's pageant, she said, gave her much-needed experience but also presented a mixed bag.
"Last year, I didn't know what to expect, so I wasn't that nervous," she explained. "This year, I was more nervous at times because I knew what to expect."
Aull, a 2004 Lansing High School graduate and the daughter of Melanie and Alex Aull of Lansing, said she trained for the pageant by working out, eating a healthy diet and keeping up on current events.
"You kind of get to know yourself that way," she said.
She's no stranger to competition; during her LHS days, Aull was a member of the state champion volleyball team and earned All-Kaw Valley League honors. She also had competed for the title of "America's Homecoming Queen" after winning the state title a year ago.
But competing on your own is different than competing on a team, she said.
"It's a whole different emotion," she said. "It's the same, yet it's different. You've got to prepare differently when it's all up to you. Volleyball is a team sport; this is individual. You're all on your own."
Aull said she was amazed by the other contestants in the pageant.
"There are so many different personalities, so many different talents and hobbies. It's really something that so many girls can be so different yet have the same goals," she said.
With the Miss Kansas USA title, Aull now turns her attention to the 2006 Miss USA Pageant. She said she planned to continue going to school next semester at Johnson County but would take time out for the Miss USA Pageant, an event that takes place over a three-week period in Baltimore and concludes with a live telecast on April 21 on NBC.
She'll also travel throughout the state, making appearances as Miss Kansas USA.