Twenty-year old Hot Springs native Autumn Simunek will once again be competing in the Miss S.D. Pageant in June.
And this year however, for the first time, she will be wearing the sash and will carry the title of her hometown when she takes the stage.
Simunek earned the Miss Hot Springs title Saturday night, at the annual Miss Hot Springs and Miss Hot Springs/Miss West River Outstanding Teen Pageants, held at the Mueller Civic Center.
Also earning titles at Saturday night’s competition were Lexi Westra of Rapid City, who was crowned Miss Hot Springs Outstanding Teen while another Rapid City girl, Amber Lau, was crowned Miss West River’s Outstanding Teen.
Simunek, Westra and Lau will all be eligible to compete at the Miss South Dakota and Miss South Dakota Outstanding Teen Pageants the last weekend of June, in Hot Springs.
Ali Tornow of Rapid City was selected as first runner-up to Simunek and was also selected by her fellow competitors as Miss Congeniality.
Courtney Naasz of Hot Springs was the Miss Outstanding Teen first runner-up and Westra was Miss Congeniality in the teen competition.
“I am so happy,” Simunek said moments after being crowned by last year’s titleholder, Morgan Black.
“This has been my hope, my goal all along, to be able to compete for Miss South Dakota as a representative of my hometown,” Simunek said, “And now I will be able to do so!”
Hot Springs Teen contestant Amber Hulse was presented the award for Top Talented Non-finalist.
Tiffany Hooten was named the Children’s Miracle Worker in the Miss division, as being the top fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network.
The 2013 Miss Outstanding Teen winners were crowned by last year’s winners; Miss Hot Springs Teen Haylea Stover and Miss West River Outstanding Teen Veronica Thomas.