Tristalyn Bixler-Kint, Miss York County 2014
Tristalyn Bixler-Kint, Miss York County 2014

This year's Miss York County is a Penn State grad, baton twirler and sexual abuse activist.

Tristalyn Bixler-Kint, 23, earned the title Saturday night at the 65th York County Pageants event at York Suburban Middle School. She also earned $5,000 in scholarship money.

"It's definitely exciting," she said.

The communications and film-video major said she plans to apply the money to her school loans, but she also wants to earn a master of arts degree down the road. Bixler-Kint lives in Springettsbury Township and works at Fox43 on the crew as a video editor.

Speaking up: The York Suburban High School alumna was judged on her talent, interview, confidence, poise and fitness at the pageant. With a 35 percent weight, talent is the most important category -- and she had that covered.

A baton twirler since she was 5, she was also a majorette at Penn State.

A private interview carried 25 percent of the contestants' scores, and Bixler-Kint's platform was a passionate one.

In past pageants, she used her career experience to speak about communications issues, such as social media, but this year, she took a more personal approach.

Her platform focused on the fight against sexual violence.

"I hope to promote that as much as possible," she said.

Sexually assaulted as a senior in college, Bixler-Kint said she wants to use her experience in a positive way to encourage those who are too scared to share their stories.

Finally crowned: She's been in the pageant system since she was a teen, and this was her fifth year running for Miss York County, she said.

"I've wanted this title for many, many years now," she said.

She said she connects with people young and old and hopes to raise awareness of issues in York County this year.

"I would love to get out in the community as much as possible," she said.

Bixler-Kint will go on to the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Pageant from June 8 to 14. If she were to win, she'd be set to compete in the Miss America Pageant on Sept. 14.

Other winners: Francesca Ruscio of Temple University earned the title of Miss Susquehanna Valley 2014 and will also go on to the Miss Pennsylvania contest.

Bixler-Kint's runner-up, Kayla Rapesky of Delone Catholic High School, was crowned Miss White Rose City 2014.

-- Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.