Since the age of 3 when she started dressing up on Halloween as Miss America, Angelea Busby has dreamed about competing in -- and winning -- that national pageant.
Saturday night in Pratt half of that dream came true when the Miss Kansas crown was placed on her head.
"Now it's no more make-believe," the 21-year-old Kansas University junior said Sunday night during a telephone interview from the Lenexa home of her parents, William and Marilyn Busby.
"I'm just exhausted, of course," Busby said. "I wasn't able to sleep last night."
Nearly 24 hours after the pageant Busby was still fielding congratulatory phone messages and trying to get her emotions to calm down.
"It was just a shock and thrill all at the same time," Busby said, recalling her crowning moment.
There was never a time during the pageant when she thought she had the crown wrapped up, Busby said.
"After I won the interview, I thought that might be a hint," she said. "I was truly myself. It was just as if I was talking with a friend. But you never know until that final announcement."
Busby qualified for the Miss Kansas Pageant as Miss Cheney Lake. She was the first first-time contestant to win the crown in 23 years.
Busby's talent was baton twirling. She is the featured twirler at KU.
"I was just so happy with my performance the entire evening," she said. "The baton-twirling went well. I had a little nervousness, but I just wanted to basically show who I was and do my best."
Sunday Busby made the trip from Pratt to Lenexa. Today she will take the Law School Admission Test. Currently majoring in journalism, she also hopes to enter law school at KU.
Tuesday Busby will return to Pratt, where she will take up residence in two rooms in a dormitory at Pratt Community College. She will spend the rest of the summer there preparing for the Miss America Pageant.
"I'll be practicing my twirling," she said. "If I change anything it will be the costuming and music. I will work out a little more, although I'm not unhappy with the way I look."
Busby said her platform for the Miss America Pageant would be to raise awareness about depression and suicide and the stigma often attached to it. She said a member of her family had battled depression.
The Miss America Pageant will be Sept. 20 in Atlantic City, N.J.