When we previewed Kelsea Hamilton before this year’s Adams County Fair, she told The Defender that her goal was to win a clock trophy at the 2015 Ohio State Fair. Mission accomplished.
Hamilton took home a clock trophy, the top honor at the state fair, in the senior self-determined category for her basket weaving project, the only clock trophy awarded to a participant from Adams County this year.
Nerves were abundant throughout the state fair as Hamilton didn’t take home any ribbons or awards for her veterinary science, art or cake decorating projects, meaning it was win something in self-determined, or go home empty-handed.
For a girl who has taken too many projects to the state fair over the years for her to count, going home without something was not acceptable.
The intensity soared even higher during the self-determined awards. Hamilton, a member of the senior division, had to sit through all the junior division awards, then the senior projects who won “Outstanding of the Day,” which is the top 20 percent of projects, then “Superior” projects, the top 10 percent of projects.
Without being awarded with either, Hamilton knew all that was left was one of the four clock trophies.
“My mom said while I was sitting with the people I competed against, once they got done announcing the superior winners, I turned to her and gave her this sad face because I thought I wasn’t going to win anything at all,” Hamilton said.
Three clock award winners were announced, none of which bore the name Kelsea Hamilton on them, but as far as Hamilton was concerned, the best moment was saved for last.
“I was the very last one to get announced for a clock trophy,” Hamilton said. “After the third one was announced I was all sad because I really thought I wasn’t going to get anything but once I heard my name I like jumped up and ran there. I was really excited. I’ve been waiting to get a clock trophy for like ever.”
The trophy, which sits proudly above her bed on her headboard, is a reminder that her dream became a reality, and it can become reality once again in future years.
“Someone at our committee meeting asked me, ‘What are you going to do now that you have your goal? Are you going to just stop 4H forever?’ and I was like, ‘No. I’m going for more clock trophies, who stops at just one?’” Hamilton said. “This let me know that it’s possible to win one because I’ve been doing this since third grade and I haven’t gotten one yet. I was doubting my skills if I was ever able to get one.”
Despite the early disappointment of not earning awards on her first three projects, the clock trophy definitely made it an unforgettable state fair for Hamilton.
“This definitely makes up for it,” Hamilton said.
Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391, firstname.lastname@example.org or @WUDefender on Twitter.