Kaydence Weary was returning with a vengeance. She had a title to defend.

The 9-year-old pageant queen was a top three finalist in the Spring Ho Cardboard Boat Regatta in 2016 and returned this year determined to part the waters and claim victory. She was ultimately a winner in many ways.

Weary, who is the reigning Five Hills Junior Ambassador, along with Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball and Little Miss Five Hills Kadence Coombs made boats entirely out of cardboard and duct tape for the competitive water event.

Kimball and Weary faced off in the same heat along with several other racers. Kimball paddled furiously in the S.S. Emily she had created. But, ultimately, her boat capsized and she was out of the race.

An experienced racer from last year, Weary beelined for the other side of Hanna Springs Pool and once again, made it into the final heat of champion racers. Exhausted from just coming out of the water, Weary struggled and failed twice to get back into her boat just making it in prior to the start of the final heat.

With the blow of the whistle, Weary mustered all of strength and with her last exertion of energy paddled rapidly to the other end of the pool to once again come in second place.

“I had a lot of fun doing the race and making my boat with my papa,” Weary said. “You don’t have to win first place to have a great experience and learn a lot. And, I still got to represent the city of Copperas Cove with my boat and that’s my job as the queen.”

Weary did win the People’s Choice Award for the best decorated boat which was clad in black duct tape with hot pink and yellow accents, pink sparkling crowns and the Copperas Cove Five Hills Pageant logos.

The royalty spent the morning prior to the regatta representing the city in the Lampasas Spring Ho Parade and earlier in the week at the Spring Ho Pageant.

For the last 10 days, the royalty have cared for the Fort Hood Boot Memorial. Each day, a different titleholder and his/her family have tended to the memorial both morning and evening meticulously checking each of the more than 7,000 boots representing the service members who have lost their lives since 9/11.

The royalty also attended the chamber business of the month presentation at Décor and More, two chamber ribbon cuttings and Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball was the guest speaker at the Copperas Cove Exchange Club meeting on her platform of service, the humane treatement of animals.

In royal sightings this weekend, the titleholders will assist with city’s monthly free animal adoption event.

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