MANSFIELD — A New Bremen native was first runner-up in the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program this year.
Lexi Richter, 21, won a $4,000 scholarship and the chance to compete in September at the National Sweetheart Pageant.
Richter was in the news a couple of weeks ago about the promoting she had been doing of her children’s book. The recent neuropsychology graduate of the University of Cincinnati read her book “The Big Race” to hundreds of students, grades K-4, and taught them about the importance of helmet safety.
Richter said a big part of Miss America is working with children’s hospitals, so she thought it would be a good way to combine both of her worlds. As she worked to prepare for the Miss Ohio Pageant she promoted her organization, Head 4 A Cause, in conjunction with her book. Both advocate for helmet safety and raise awareness about concussions.
Richter prepared for the pageant by practicing her talent, piano, and keeping up on current events so she could ace the interview portion, as well. She also did 6 a.m. workouts and tried not to eat too many donuts, she said.
The pageant was an eight day event in Mansfield, Ohio featuring appearances at the local mall, a parade and the teen pageant. The ladies practiced the show and their routines to make sure the performance went off without a hitch.
They arrived on Friday, June 12, and winners were announced on Saturday, June 20. The actual competition was held Thursday, June 18, through Saturday, June 20.
Richter said her family and friends all made the trip to support her, including family from Colorado. Other family members all around the country sent her cards throughout the week showing their support.
When it came to getting up on stage, Richter said it was a complete adrenaline rush. She said no matter how prepared you feel, everything goes blank when you get up on stage and your body just goes on auto pilot. You perform the best you can because it happens so quickly, Richter said.
She said when they called her name it felt amazing.
“It doesn’t feel real to me. Now I know I can do it. I know the judges believed in me,” Richter said.
She said she will miss the great group of girls she got to compete with.
Looking to the future Richter plans on competing in the National Sweetheart Pageant in September in Illinois. She is excited to meet girls from all over the country. She said that this competition is like a mini Miss America competition.
She is looking forward to getting to compete in the Miss Ohio Pageant again next year, she just has to start at the local level again, win a local title, then continue to move up.
In between competing and practicing, Richter will be taking classes at Wright State University in the fall and spring to prepare for The Medical College Admission Test she plans to take next summer. She plans to study pediatric neurology in medical school.
Richter said she is giving herself some time because she graduated college in just three years from all the college credit she had earned while in high school. Richter graduated from New Bremen in 2012.