Carnes follows in cousins’ footsteps with DYW win

By Nancy Leedy

STANFORD — It must be in the blood.
Three years ago, Madison Carnes watched as her cousin Maggie Taylor won the Lincoln County Distinguished Young Woman title. She was back in the audience last year to see another cousin, Katie King, win the title.
On Saturday night, both Taylor and King were on hand as Carnes carried on the family tradition as she was named the 2017 Distinguished Young Woman.
“This is so exciting,” Carnes said after winning another DYW title for her family. “My mom had been in the program previously and my cousins went through it and I got to see their whole experience and how much fun they had and truly how it was a life-changing experience for them. And I’m excited that I get to have that same experience.”
King was the first member of Carnes’ family to offer their congratulations, presenting Carnes with her official DYW medallion and $4,100 cash scholarship as she proudly stepped to centerstage to accept her title.
As Carnes stood on the stage of the Stuart Underwood Auditorium with the other 13 DYW candidates awaiting the judges’ deciison, it slowly started to sink in that she could possibly be the DYW winner. But, even after being declared a winner in four of the five preliminary categories and a runner-up in the fifth, and hearing the fourth- through first-runner-ups names called off, there was still some doubt.
“I thought that I probably had a good chance, but I also knew that there were several other girls who deserved it and who had won other awards. You never know what can happen,” Carnes said.
Carnes, the daughter of Stan and Heidi Carnes of Stanford, walked away from the DYW program with $6,085 in cash scholarships thanks to preliminary wins in judges’ interview, talent, self expression and fitness, a first runner-up finish in scholastic achievement and as a Spirit Award winner.
In addition to her $4,100 as the winner, she received a $450 cash scholarship for both her judges’ interview win and her first-runner-up scholastic finish, $335 for talent and $275 in both self expression and fitness. She was also awarded a $200 cash scholarship as a co-winner of the Phyllis Cooley Memorial Spirit Award.
For her talent presentation, Carnes performed an Irish tap dance to “Lord of the Dance.” It was this dance, as well as the self expression preliminary, that slightly rattled the 17-year-old Danville Christian Academy senior.
“I was worried most about my self-expression speech. I was afraid I was going to forget something. I don’t mind having to speak in front of people but having to have it memorized was definitely the hardest part,” she said. “And I had never competed in my talent as a solo. I’ve always danced in big groups so that was getting me a little bit out of my comfort zone. But I loved it.”
Participating in the Lincoln County DYW program put a strain on Carnes’ daily schedule, with all the practices and rehearsals, but she said she loved the experience, especially making new friends.
“That was one of my favorite parts,” she said. “I knew most of these girls previously but not really well. Through things like the sleepover and all the practices we became really close. And my cousin Jenna (King) did it with me. We did it together.”
“I thought (DYW) would be a really great way to grow myself before I went to college and make some new friends and I absolutely had a blast,” Carnes said. “I’m so thankful that I did it.”
As the new DYW titleholder, Carnes will represent Lincoln County at the 2017 Kentucky Distinguished Young Woman program in Lexington in January.
“It is going to be a whole different ballgame, but I’m pumped for state because I know some people from GSP (Governor’s Scholars Program) that will be competing in state,” said Carnes. “I think it’s just going to be a really great experience to make even more friends from across the state and be able to do everything that I loved doing in this program again.”
Each of the DYW candidates was judged prior to the contest during a 10-minute interview with the panel of judges. The interview represented 25 percent of the total score. Another 25 percent of the score was based on the participant’s scholastic achievement. The remaining 50 percent of the judging was completed Saturday evening, divided between talent (20 percent), self expression (15 percent) and fitness (15 percent).
In the fitness portion of the program, participants performed both a group and individual routine.
During the talent preliminary, each participant selected her own costume and props. The participants also chose their own gowns for the self-expression segment.
The first runner-up in the 2017 program was Auburn Mattingly. Mattingly, the daughter of Mike and Kristie Mattingly, received a $3,100 cash scholarship for first place.
Mattingly was also a winner in the scholastic achievement, judges interview, talent, self-expression and fitness preliminaries. She received a $1,000 cash scholarship as the overall scholastic winner. She was awarded a $450 cash scholarship in interview, $335 in talent and $275 in both self expression and fitness. For her talent, Mattingly performed Valse Opus 64 No. 1 “The Minute Waltz” by Frederic Chopin on piano.
The second runner-up was Taylor Floyd, the daughter of David and Karen Floyd. She received a $2,100 cash scholarship as runner-up.
Taylor also won a $450 cash scholarship for her judges’ interview win and also for her runner-up finish in scholastic achievement.
Logan Godbey, the daughter of Tim and Dayna Godbey, received a $1,100 cash scholarship as third runner-up. In addition, Godbey won a $450 cash scholarship for a judges’ interview preliminary win,  $335 for a win in talent and $275 for fitness. She was also voted on by her fellow contestants as a co-winner of the Phyllis Cooley Memorial Spirit Award. She received $200 for the honor.
The fourth runner-up was Taylor-Grace Mingo. She is the daughter of Chris and Jamie Mingo. She received a $1,100 cash scholarship for third. Mingo earned an additional $450 cash scholarship as a scholastic achievement runner-up and a $335 cash scholarship as a talent winner for her piano solo of “Malaguena” by Ernesto Lecuona.
Madison Cornett, the daughter of Wes and Carlee Cornett, walked away with multiple wins, impressing the judges in the interview, talent and self expression preliminaries. She received cash scholarships of $450 for interview, $335 in talent and $275 for self expression. For her talent, Cornett sang “I Could Have Danced All Night.”
Kayla Cox, the daughter of Carol Cox and the late Rob Cox, was also a multiple award recipient, capturing a win in self expression and a runner-up finish in scholastic achievement.
The self-expression win earned her a $275 cash scholarship but her big take was the runner-up scholastic finish worth a $450 cash scholarship.
Izabella Walker, Jenna King and Elizabeth Blaine rounded out the list of preliminary winners, with Walker making the judges take notice in self expression and King and Blaine wowing them in fitness. They each received a $275 cash scholarship. Walker is the daughter of  Jason and Jessica Bird and Marcus and Stephanie Walker, King is the daughter of Eric and Nancy King and Blaine is the daughter of Bryan Blaine and Katie Blaine.
Abby Sparkman, the daughter of Lee and Teresa Sparkman, was voted on by her fellow contestants to share the Spirit Award with Carnes and Godbey. Her cash scholarship for the honor was $200.
Co-winners were also named for the Jennifer Baker “Be Your Best Self” Memorial Award, with Alex Southerland, Sydney Slone and Emily Stanley each chosen to receive a $200 cash scholarship. Southerland is the daughter of Janet and Roger Southerland, Slone is the daughter of Jason and April Slone and Stanley is the daughter of Scott and Jessica Stanley.

Photo by Nancy Leedy  Photo by Nancy Leedy Carnes shares a happy embrace after earning the Lincoln County Distinguished Young Woman title.

Photo by Nancy Leedy
Photo by Nancy Leedy
Carnes shares a happy embrace after earning the Lincoln County Distinguished Young Woman title.

DYW All the girls

DYW Carnes formal shot