"I've been training for state since November," Montgomery said. "But I was still extremely shocked to win."
"I'm proud both my girls have set goals for themselves," Mongtomery's mother, Susan, said. "It's important to us that she's working toward a goal that she's completed, regardless of what it is."
The competition consisted of a personal introduction, interview, and evening and swim wear contests, but Montgomery enjoyed something else more.
"Honestly? And this will sound corny, but I just like meeting the girls," Montgomery said.
'Catty' environment a misconception
The pageant was nothing like the "catty" environment that many people might envision. "I thought it would be like that, too, before I entered one, but it's just the opposite," Montgomery said.
Instead, Montgomery said she came away with what she feels are lifetime friends.
She said competing in pageants has increased her overall self-confidence and she would encourage other girls to enter similar contests.
"In college, you often have to interview for specific programs, and after standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people, things like that come much easier," Montgomery said.
Montgomery won $1,000 and several prizes. She will continue with the Kentucky State Fair Board, appearing at pageants and supporting other girls.
"It's not about who's the prettiest. And you get to meet some amazing people," said Montgomery, who met her St. Catharine College roommate during her Boyle County pageant adventure. Montgomery is a freshman pursuing a nursing degree.
Both Montgomery and her mother credit Jennifer Milburn, vice president of special events with the Boyle County Fair Board, for her help.
"(Milburn) really, really helped lead her along," Susan Montgomery said.
Martha Bryant, a fair board member, said although this was only Milburn's second year working with the pageant, she must be a natural.
"This is the first year we've had one of our own win state, so she did something right!" Bryant said.