Nick Amatangelo It was a whirlwind of emotion for new Miss North Dakota Cara Mund.
"I am just overwhelmed and grateful for this opportunity. This is my fourth year, I've come back year after year, I've just really grown as an individual," said Mund.
From her elegance in the formal wear to her dance to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," Mund proved to the judges she was ready to wear the crown.
"The growth that I've made. Year after year my talent got better; I got stronger in interview. I earned more and more scholarship dollars," said Mund.
And her win came just in the nick of time.
"I was aging out after this, and I was thinking, 'This is it. Go big or go home.' And I just can't believe this is it," said Mund.
For Mund, last night's result was the latest in a long line of achievements with the program
"She started with this program when she was 6 years old. She was a little miss North Dakota. She was Pre-Teen Miss North Dakota, Junior Miss North Dakota, Outstanding Teen North Dakota and now she's Miss North Dakota," said Doug Mund, Delora Kautzmann-Mund, father and mother.
While there can only be one winner, the other 18 girls who competed are happy for Mund.
"She's such a wonderful woman. She's intelligent, she's kind, and she's one of the most caring individuals that you'll meet, so I'm very proud of her," said Lizzie Jensen, Miss North Dakota first runner up
The whole state is proud for the Bismarck native who will spend the next year serving North Dakota. For NBC North Dakota News, I'm Nick Amatangelo.
The Miss America Pageant will be this September in Atlantic City.