Shelby Love Cargill Crowned as Miss UCO 2019

Shelby Love Cargill was crowned Miss UCO 2019 during the 43rd Annual Miss UCO Pageant on Oct. 27 in the University of Central Oklahoma’s Constitution Hall.

“I still cannot believe that I really won,” Cargill said. “I was so excited to find out who was going to be crowned and little did I know it was going to be me.”

Cargill is a senior professional media major, and the Tuesday and Thursday anchor-journalist for the UCentral newscast and is an interning reporter at KFOR.

Miss UCO was not Cargill’s first time competing in a pageant, as she held the Miss Northern Oklahoma College 2016 title and competed for Miss Oklahoma during her reign.

Cargill said she is still shocked, as she did not expect to win and thought she was out when the runner-ups were named. She said all of the girls who competed were incredible and any would have been a fantastic Miss UCO.

“I think she was genuinely surprised and excited to win the 2019 crown, but it was well deserved,” said Winston Banta, Miss UCO pageant director. “Shelby, like all of the candidates, put forth a great deal of effort to work and improve during all phases of the competition.”

Cargill decided to participate in Miss UCO because she needed financial help and was looking for scholarship opportunities so that she could continue her studies at UCO. She came across the pageant and decided to try it, as she enjoys being on stage.

A former musical theater major at NOC, Cargill used her performing skills for the talent portion of the night, singing a music theatre song, “Maybe This Time,” from Cabaret.

Cargill’s platform, “You Are Enough” – Building a Positive Self Image, works to replace one’s insecurities with powerful truth statements to find a way for people to gain inner peace and be a friend to themselves. She said she wants herself and others to achieve a healthy mind and life by positive thoughts.

Alana Hughes, Miss UCO 2018, said that she is sad that her year has ended, but she is thankful for all the opportunities that she had over the year.

“I hope the new queen will enjoy every moment of being Miss UCO because it flies by so quickly,” Hughes said.

The Mistress of Ceremonies was Alyson Acklin, Miss UCO 2015 and a professional media graduate.

Judges evaluated the winner through a pre-show interview, physical fitness, talent, on-stage questions and evening wear.

Cargill received a $2,100 tuition waiver for winning the crown. First runner-up Lexie Herron and second runner-up Morgan Money received $1,250 tuition waivers. Emily Jayne Yannatone won the Outstanding Talent and Director’s awards, which both provided her with $100 scholarships.

The number of Miss UCO candidates has increased over the years, with 16 compared to the nine participants last year. Banta said they were very pleased with the numbers and it is great for UCO to have so many intelligent and talented young women participating.

Cargill will be competing in Miss Oklahoma 2019 and she said she is ready to train hard and “have a blast” representing one of the best universities in Oklahoma.

“I have such an incredible community supporting me, but my biggest cheerleader would be my mom, who supports me in all I do,” Cargill said. “The true unsung hero that helped me from my fake tan to doing my alterations, she is the greatest mom a girl could ask for.”

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