MANSFIELD -- Caroline Williams earned the Miss Ohio 2019 title on Saturday night -- and the late-night Taco Bell run she hoped would come with it.
The 24-year-old Cincinnati native, in her second Miss Ohio Scholarship Program, repeated the desire she initially offered after winning the preliminary competition on Thursday night.
The crown was placed on Williams' head Saturday night by Miss Ohio 2018 Matti-Lynn Chrisman of Cambridge. But the idea of representing the state in the Miss America program had not yet settled in by the time the post-competition press conference began.
"I cannot believe it," Williams said as she walked into the room, adding it likely won't sink in until Sunday morning.
"Tonight is about celebrating with my sisters," she said, referring to the other participants. "And I have to say this crown represents all of them. It's not about just me. It's about all of them.
"We were such a close group and when we did that top 5 and we all answered the questions, I was sitting there thinking every single girl is ready for Miss America. Every single girl is ready to represent this state. And I would not be here if it wasn't for their support," Williams said.
Miss Shawnee Grace Brown, 19, of Heath, was the first runner-up. Her mother, Renee Autherson, was Miss Ohio in 1991. Miss Franklin County Mara Mason, 22, of Columbus was second runner-up.
Ontario native Rachel Gombosch, 24, who represented Miss Clayland, was the third runner-up. Miss North Coast Jordan Meyer, 22, of Medina was the fourth runner-up.
Williams has been performing since the age of four. She double majored in theater and music at Miami University, and is currently in graduate school working on a masters in education. She hopes to someday work in administration.
Williams took the first round of preliminaries thanks in large part to her performance of the Italian aria, "O Mio Babbino Caro," which she repeated on Saturday night.
Williams represented Miss Montgomery County after participating as Miss Oxford two years ago. She took last year off.
She didn't return to Mansfield expecting to win the $10,000 scholarship, as well as a number of smaller awards during the show Saturday night.
"I was so surprised .. again, everyone was just so amazing. I was not expecting that at all. I am so thankful (to receive awards as the top) returning candidate and the sportsmanship.
"I am the oldest candidate. I am 24, which is kinda funny, because it's not even that old. But I told the girls to call me 'Nana,' because I wanted to be the loving one that was there and gave them support and gave them advice because girls did that for me when I came into the program. So I knew it was my turn to give back," Williams said.
"Once you get (to Miss Ohio) and you experience the sisterhood and the family that this program is ... you're hooked. It is such a powerful connection. That's what the this organization is about .. it's about uplifting each other," Williams said.
Williams said she was looking forward to Miss America.
"I am so excited. We don't know know when it's gonna be. We don't know where it's gonna be. But I am so excited to gain 49 new sisters," she said.