Former Miss Del Rio Teen Kaylee Yi placed in the top 19 during the Miss Texas Teen USA pageant this past weekend. Yi competed against 100-plus girls for the hopes of bringing back the crown and title.

“I got Del Rio back on the map and I hope I made our community extremely proud,” Yi said. Yi’s preparation allowed her to qualify as a semifinalist for the pageant.

Yi prepared herself for the pageant by putting in countless hours towards her runway walk and interview, she said. Contestants in the teen pageant were judged on three equal portions: interview, activewear and evening gown.

Yi gave it her absolute all and every year the judges are searching for something different, Yi said.

“The overall experience was more than I expected. I was timid about meeting friends and how the girls would act, but I met so many wonderful ladies,” Yi said.

The pageant was a “go go go experience” and did not allow time for Yi to think of anything else, thus she took in everything as the pageant went.

Even though Yi didn’t come home with a crown, she did make three best friends and knows the friendship between them will “last a lifetime,” according to Yi.

“I am already planning for a future pageant, which I will reveal later in time. But I can’t wait to be back on stage,” Yi said.

Yi received many compliments throughout the pageant and knows her time in pageantry isn’t over. “God has a plan for everything and it wasn’t my time just yet, but I think I did exactly what I was supposed to do at the time,” Yi said.

The last time a Del Rioan placed in the pageant was 30 years ago, when 1987-1988 Miss Del Rio Kristi Wright competed in the 1989 pageant and placed as the third runner up.

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