Jennings ready for state Junior Miss competition

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2002

Features Editor

Pike County Junior Miss Rachel Jennings is much more comfortable with the way she speaks than with the way she moves.

So, she spent long hours preparing for the physical fitness routine for the Alabama Junior Miss Program in Montgomery Jan. 17-19.

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"I want everyone in Pike County to be proud of me, and I’ve done my best to prepare for the state program," Rachel said. "Being Pike County’s Junior Miss has been a real honor and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve worked hard and I will do my best to represent Pike County well."

Rachel will leave Jan. 11 for the 10-day state Junior Miss competition and she will receive a big Pike County send-off at a reception held in her honor at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Troy State University Arboretum.

At the reception, Rachel will speak about her platform, "Honoring Veterans," and will perform her talent, a humorous interpretation.

"This will give me an opportunity to present my platform and perform my talent before family and friends before I leave for Montgomery," Rachel said. "I’ve been in the drama club for four years at Charles Henderson High School, and so I feel very comfortable speaking

to an audience and being on stage, but I’ve never spoken on stage before 2,500 people before. This is going to be a new experience for me."

And, so is the physical fitness routine.

"Moving around isn’t my strong suit," Rachel said, laughing. "I’ll be nervous during the physical fitness routines, but I’ve worked out at the gym and I’m as ready as I can be."

The only other butterflies Rachel might have will be the flutters she experiences at being out of contact with family and friends for 10 days.

"Ceil and Danny Sikes are the host family for Kelli Caudel (Miss Limestone County) and me and I like them a lot and Kelli and I are already good friends," Rachel said. "But, we aren’t allowed to even have phone calls from home. The state Junior Miss board wants us to be focused on the program and all of the activities surrounding it."

However, Rachel is certain that she will be so busy that she won’t have time to miss home.

"Something is planned for us almost all the time," she said. "We’ll rehearse twice a day for three or four hours. We’ll have lunches and dinners and make several appearance, so there won’t be a lot of free time."

Dress rehearsal for the Alabama Junior Miss Program will be Thursday. On Friday, Rachel will perform her talent and on Saturday, the fitness and poise competitions will be held in addition to the finals that night.

"It would be a great honor to be Alabama’s Junior Miss, but it’s also an honor to represent Pike County," Rachel said. "I won’t be disappointed if I don’t win, because this will be an experience I’ll always treasure."

The entire Junior Miss experience is one that Rachel will always remember fondly.

She has had opportunities to learn more about the county in which she lives and meet many people who have enriched her life.

"I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything," she said. "It has been wonderful and I still have a couple of months to be Pike County’s Junior Miss and I’m looking forward to those months, too."

Rachel is a senior at Charles Henderson High School. Her immediate plan after graduation is, "I’m gong to Disney World!"

Then, Rachel will attend the University of Florida where she will

major in either advertising or architecture.

"I’ve always thought it would be so neat to see a building and know that I designed it," she said.

Rachel also might opt

to study a year abroad or participate in a summer mission program, preferably in a Spanish speaking country because she is fluent in Spanish.

The future looks promising for Pike County Junior Miss Rachel Jennings and there is no doubt she will represent Pike County well at the Alabama Junior Miss Program.

The Messenger joins all Pike County in wishing her all the best in Montgomery.

Editor’s note: Pike County supporters of the Junior Miss program are encouraged to send best wishes to Rachel at the address of her host family, Mr. and Mrs. Danny Sikes, 9113 Green Chase Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117.