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  • Val T.

Finke finishes First Runner-up at Fair Queen Pageant, prepares for Purdue


Sports Editor, RTC

Miss Fulton County First Runner-up Alexa Finke

Alexa Finke stood on stage during the Miss Fulton County Queen Pageant at Rochester High School Saturday and compared it to her various and many sporting experiences.

She felt a competitive drive to win, but of the four sports she plays, it compared distinctly to one.

“Oh my gosh, it is so much more stressful, I think, mainly because you’re up there on the stage all alone, and everybody’s eyes are totally on you, whereas when you’re playing different sports, you’re with a team, so not everybody’s looking at you, but I would compare this to gymnastics a lot because I felt kind of the same pressure,” Finke said. “Everybody’s eyes were on me. … This was the most nerve-wracking I’ve done ever. Ever.”

Just as in gymnastics, she excelled as spectators glared at her, finishing First Runner-up behind Chesnee Miller in a field of seven competitors.

This was the first pageant for Finke, a 2024 Caston grad.

“I’m very excited to finish First Runner-up,” Finke said. “It was such a great opportunity for me to be able to compete with those girls, and I’m very happy that Chesnee won first place because she was so deserving of it, and she works so hard.”

Finke is accomplished both athletically and academically. She made the Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association First Team Academic All-State team, the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Honorable Mention Academic All-State team, the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association’s First Team Academic All-State in gymnastics, and the Softball Coaches Association of Indiana’s First Team Academic All-State team.

She also finished in the top 10 of the graduating class at Caston.

On the field of play, she was the right fielder on Caston’s historic 2023 softball team that was state runner-up – the team went 21-0 in conference play her last three years of high school – and a starter on the Caston girls basketball team that won its first sectional title in 39 years and its first regional title ever. A middle hitter during what might be considered Caston’s best three-year run, Finke was also honorable mention all-Hoosier North in volleyball.

And she was Caston’s one-person gymnastics team.

She also found time to enter the Distinguished Young Women of Fulton County, which she noted was not technically a pageant but another way to be recognized for leadership, scholastic aptitude and talent while also being involved in a competition.

Just like an athlete, she watched film with her teammate and pageant competitor Macee Hinderlider to help her prepare.

She spoke of the attention to detail involved to help her stand out.

“One example from this is there was a girl that had just been in an interview, and she came back and the judges said, ‘Could you cut the threat on the back of your shirt?’, so that goes to show just how much they’re actually paying attention and how many details they really pay attention to,” Finke said.

The Miss Fulton County Queen Pageant was a unique experience but also one that she encourages others to try.

“I think that it’s important,” Finke said. “It’s good to get out there and at least know what you’re doing once so you have a good general overview of what pageants are, but I did it without one, so I think anybody can do it definitely.”

Finke said her mother Renell convinced her to enter.

“She was definitely the driving force for me to do this pageant,” a smiling Finke said. “She really didn’t give me an option, but I’m very glad I ended up doing the pageant. It was such a great experience.”

Finke has been in 4-H for 10 years raising various animals.

She is headed to Purdue University this fall. She hopes to become a pharmacist. She said she already has worked an internship at Webb’s Pharmacy in Rochester.

“I’ve always been interested in something medical,” Finke said. “I really, really want to help people make a difference, and I feel like pharmacy is a great combination of both because I can be in a hospital and I can be around helping people, and it just seems really interesting, and I’m very, very excited to pursue a career.”

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