Local Miss Kansas contestant Abby Domann is competing at Miss Meadowlark and finding it a challenging experience.

Abigail Domann is getting ready for a great challenge. This 18-year-old Pratt native has just graduated from Pratt High School and is now going to compete in the 2018 Miss Kansas Pageant as Miss Meadowlark.

Time has been a factor as she has been juggling finishing high school and graduation with getting ready for the pageant. It took time but it was fun, Domann said.

Several factors convinced Domann to enter preliminary pageants. She saw how a little girl looked at a title holder and realized she wanted to be someone little girls could look up to.

Getting into the pageant took a lot of work. She entered the Miss Ark Valley pageant and did not win. But she was persistent and won her title of Miss Meadowlark at the Pratt Sweeps Pageant.

She found it takes a lot of preparation to get ready for the pageant competition. This is her first year in the pageant system and she knew it would be tough. She avoids drinking soda and is working to stay in shape, both mentally and physically. With her busy schedule, she hasn’t had time to workout as much as she would like. But if she stays mentally healthy, it helps her stay physically healthy.

“Mental health is the biggest part of being healthy,” Domann said.

For her talent competition, Domann will sing “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. Domann had the part of Christine in the PHS production of Phantom. She has been singing that song throughout her entire senior year. She is constantly working on the song and thinking about the music. But she is careful she doesn’t work the music too much.

“I don’t want it to lose the emotion,” Domann said.

She started singing at a very young age back in pre-school so she has been singing for 15-plus years. As a kid, she took her music seriously.

“I loved it from a very young age,” Domann said. “Music will always be an incredibly important part of my self.”

Music helps Domann deal with a part of her life that has become the foundation of her platform “I am Evidence: The idea of rape culture in America.” For Domann, the idea that, in this country, people are quick to blame the rape victim is something that needs to change. She wants to share how rape affects the community and herself. It’s tough to deal with it without telling anybody.

“It’s a frowned upon topic but somebody needs to say something,” Domann said. “It can happen to anybody.”

The toughest part of the competition for Domann is talent. She said she can be very critical about her work. But she knows that God will be with her during the pageant and help her to get her message across to the judges and the audience.

As far as the swimwear competition goes, Domann is confident in her swimsuit and that is all she can offer.

Answering the on-stage question might be the most comfortable part of her pageant experience. Being in forensics for four years and competing in improvised speaking, and working with PHS Forensics Coach Rose Beilman helped Domann become more poised. It enriched her ability to think on her feet.

Even her evening gown has a special connection to Domann. It’s being made for her by her long time friend Karissa Schelling and her mother. They have been an incredible help picking out and working on her evening gown. She grew up with Karissa and her brother Cody Schelling was her escort when she was a homecoming attendant. Karissa wanted to help with the pageant and Domann said yes.

Part of being in the Miss Kansas Pageant is taking part in the Miss Kansas Serves program. Contestants hold fundraisers to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. They donate two thirds of what they raise to CMNH.

Domann said she has been empowered from getting to meet everyone associated with the organization.

“It’s been a great journey to get to know and learn from the title holders and directors,” she said.

She has become friends with Candace Sweetwood who is competing as Miss Ark Valley. They competed against each other in a local pageant. She has also gotten to know Kyann Eslick who is competing as Miss Santa Fe Trail. She has gotten to know about these ladies who are also first time contestants.

“They made me feel I’m not alone going into the pageant,” she said.

Domann’s parents have been very supportive. They have come to her concerts and performances.

“I don’t know what I would do without them,” Domann said. “They are so excited that I’m competing. I have family coming from California for the pageant.”

She has also found good friends and good support from her high school choir director Brandon Wade and his wife Amanda.

“They have been the most caring and wise people that have come into my life,” she said. “They have helped teach me to be a good person in my life outside high school.”

When all is said and done with the pageant, Domann said she wants to have fun with the experience. No matter how it turns out for her, it’s the process that means a lot to her. It’s the behind the scenes activity and earning scholarships and getting to know the contestants and pageant directors.

She expects to gain poise and take on the characteristics of being a leader. She wants to be a woman people can look up to just like that little girl looked up to the title holder.

@GaleR_Tribune