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Miss Kansas USA

  (Redirected from Cara Gorges)

The Miss Kansas USA pageant is a competition that selects the representative for the state of Kansas in the Miss USA pageant. The pageant is directed by Vanbros and Associates, headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas. In 1992, the state joined the Vanbros group, under the directorship of Miss Kansas 1998 Jennifer Vannatta-Fisher.

Miss Kansas USA
TypeBeauty pageant
Miss USA
Official language
Key people
John M. Vannatta
Jason Vannatta
Jennifer Vannatta-Fisher, State Pageant Director
WebsiteOfficial website
At the conclusion of the Miss Kansas USA and Miss Kansas Teen USA 2008 pageant held in Lawrence, Kansas in December 2007, Michelle Gillespie is crowned by Cara Gorges (left)

Kansas did not place at Miss USA until 1973, the third-to-last state to make their first placement. From then, no delegate from Kansas made the cut until 1991, when Kelli McCarty won the crown. McCarty's win makes Wichita, Kansas the only state to host one Miss USA and Miss Teen USA to win in their home state. This included two first runners-up, including Danielle Boatwright, winner of Survivor: Guatemala, one second runner-up, one third runner-up, and one fourth runner-up, among others. All but three of Kansas's ten placements have been runners-up.

Seven former Miss Kansas Teen USAs went on to win the Miss title, and also two Miss Missouri Teen USAs (Missouri is also a Vanbros state).

Alyssa Klinzing of Olathe was crowned Miss Kansas USA 2019 on November 25, 2018 at Kansas State Event Center in Mulvane. She represented Kansas for the title of Miss USA 2019 on May 2, 2019 in Reno, Nevada where she placed in the Top 10.[1]

Gallery of titleholdersEdit

Results summaryEdit


  • Winners: Kelli McCarty (1991)
  • 1st runners-up: Danielle Boatwright (1996), Lindsay Douglas (2002)
  • 2nd runners-up: Tavia Shackles (1993), Cara Gorges (2007)
  • Top 5/6: Kimberlee Girrens (1992), Tiffany Meyer (2000)
  • Top 10/12: Brenda Kopmeyer (1973), Carol Hovenkamp (1994), Alyssa Klinzing (2019)
  • Top 15: Bethany Gerber (2010)

Kansas holds a record of 11 placements at Miss USA.


  • Best State Costume: Tavia Shackles (1993)
  • Most Beautiful Eyes: Tavia Shackles (1993)
  • Best in Swimsuit: Danielle Boatwright (1996)


Color key
  •      Declared as Winner
  •      Ended as runner-up
  •      Ended as one of the finalists or semifinalists
Year Name Hometown Age1 Placement at Miss USA Special awards at Miss USA Notes
2020 Miss Kansas USA 2020 will be held on January 19, 2020[2]
2019 Alyssa Klinzing Olathe 20 Top 10
2018 Melanie Shaner Overland Park 20
2017 Catherine Carmichael Manhattan 25
2016 Victoria Wiggins Junction City 24
2015 Alexis Railsback Shawnee 19
2014 Audrey Banach Kansas City 22
2013 Staci Klinginsmith[4] Lenexa 26
2012 Gentry Miller Kansas City 24
2011 Jaymie Stokes Lenexa 20
2010 Bethany Gerber Winfield 21 Top 15, Finishing in 13th Place
2009 Courtney Courter Olathe 23
2008 Michelle Gillespie Mission Hills 22
2007 Cara Gorges Clearwater 19 2nd runner-up
2006 Ashley Aull Lansing 20
2005 Rachel Saunders Tonganoxie 21
2004 Lisa Forbes Overland Park 22 Later Miss Earth USA 2007, USA representative to Miss Earth 2007.
2003 Alicia Cabrera Leawood 23
2002 Lindsay Douglas Lawrence 23 1st Runner-up
2001 Kristie Knox Hutchinson 25
2000 Tiffany Meyer 25 Top 5 (4th) Previously Miss Missouri Teen USA 1992 Top 6 at Miss Teen USA 1994
1999 Leah Darby Wellington
1998 Cammie Morisseau Wichita 18
1997 Kathryn Taylor Overland Park 24
1996 Danielle Boatwright Tonganoxie 20 1st Runner-up Best in Swimsuit Previously Miss Kansas Teen USA 1992 2nd runner up at Miss Teen USA 1992, sports broadcaster and winner of Survivor: Guatemala
1995 Deborah Daulton Salina 18
1994 Carol Hovenkamp Overland Park 19 Top 12 Semi-finalist, Finishing in 11th Place
1993 Tavia Shackles[5] Shawnee[5] 21[5] 2nd Runner-up[5] Best State Costume & Most Beautiful Eyes Award Previously Miss Missouri Teen USA 1990 and top 12 at Miss Teen USA 1990. Later married Clark Hunt.
1992 Kimberlee Girrens Wichita 26 Top 6 Finalist, Finishing in 5th Place Previously Miss Kansas Teen USA 1986, Later Mrs. Kansas America 2004 under her married name, Kimberlee Easter.[6]
1991 Kelli McCarty Liberal 21 Miss USA 1991 Top 6 finalist at Miss Universe 1991
Starred as Beth Wallace in the NBC show Passions
1990 Rebecca Porter Wichita
1989 Nancy Burris Colby
1988 Cynthia Decker Manhattan
1987 Martina Castle Overland Park
1986 Audra Ockerman Wichita Mother of Claire-Bailey Lee Miss Kansas Teen USA 2014
1985 Jill Denzin Leawood
1984 Elizabeth Johnson Prairie View
1983 Renee Ruch Mission Julia Renee Talge,

Lake Quivera, First Runner-Up

1982 Stefani Larson Overland Park
1981 Missy Kaser Wichita
1980 Lisa Boyd Wichita
1979 Linda Shields Lawrence
1978 Mary Bell Wichita
1977 Sherry Brane Wichita
1976 Deborah Vitera Ottawa
1975 Robbin Loomas Overland Park
1974 Lorraine Breckenridge Wichita
1973 Brenda Kopmeyer Overland Park Semi-finalist
1972 Mona Guesnier Great Bend
1971 Nancy Bishop Overland Park
1970 Norma Decker Tecumseh
1969 Molly McGugin Frankfurt
1968 Anne Layton Baldwin City
1967 Regina Wolfe
1966 Pat Ravenscroft Overland Park
1965 Linda Bergsten
1964 Barbara Ford
1963 Diane Victoria Stalker
1962 Linda Light
1961 Dixie Cook
1960 Peggy Patterson
1955-59 No Representative
1954 Sue Ravencroft
1953 No Representative
1952 Bette Renick

1 Age at the time of the Miss USA pageant

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Alyssa Klinzing - Pageant Planet". Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  2. ^ "Competition Info". Miss Kansas USA. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "Miss Teen Earth USA". Miss Earth USA. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  4. ^ "Staci Klinginsmith Crowned Miss Kansas USA 2013". Beauty Pageant News. December 3, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d "Miss Michigan becomes second black Miss USA". Florida Today. 20 February 1993.
  6. ^ "2004 Mrs America". Retrieved July 9, 2010.