HANFORD — The tiaras shimmered in the bright lights as a new Miss Kings County was crowned Saturday night.

Sophia Medina, 22, was awarded not only the title of Miss Kings County at the ceremony at Hanford High School, but a chunk of scholarship money as well.

At the sold-out event, Sierra Pacific High School student Abby Salyer was named Miss Kings County's Outstanding Teen, as well.

“Their lights had shown a little brighter that day,” Miss Kings County Executive Director Teresa Vernon said about what the judges may have seen in the winners.  “It could have been any of the contestants on a different day. But these two brought their best. They brought the poise, charm and intelligence of a Miss America and the judges saw it.”

Medina and Salyer were crowned by their predecessors, Laura Sparks and Jillian Rogers, respectively.  

The duo will move on to compete in the Miss California pageant in June. To prepare, they will work with Miss Kings County officials on their presentations and talent performances. Both winners performed dance numbers.

“Sometimes these girls have never been on stage before, so we want them to be able to speak intelligently and be able to think on their feet,” Vernon said.

Before vying for the Miss California crown, which would put her on course to compete for Miss America, Medina has Miss Kings County duties right here in town.

Medina and Salyer will participate in Miss America Service Day in April by helping to give out “blessing bags” at the Episcopal Church of the Saviour Soup Kitchen. The bags include things that may be needed by the underprivileged, including soap, toothbrushes, snacks, socks and other items. 

The duo, of course, will also represent the county at the Kings County Homecoming Celebration in May.

Medina, a graduate of University of California Santa Cruz, has chosen cultural appreciation as her personal platform during her tenure as Miss Kings County. She is working to become a pediatrician. Salyer has chosen awareness and treatment of teen anxiety.