Westfield High School student overcomes medical hurdle to win Miss Indiana’s Teen crown


Keegan Connor thought her dream of winning the Miss Indiana’s Teen title was over.

She went to the hospital June 11 and had an emergency appendectomy June 12 at Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis, the first day of the Miss Indiana week.

“I was devastated thinking I wouldn’t be able to compete, and I had trained all year long for the interview, talent and taking part in community service,” said Connor, who will be a Westfield High School senior in August. “My heart was breaking.”

She had surgery at 10 a.m. It went smoothly and she was released by 4:30 p.m. and arrived at Miss Indiana for rehearsal by 8 p.m.

“I was sore and couldn’t put on my shoes, but the girls helped me smile through the pain, although I couldn’t belly laugh with their jokes,” she said “ I truly felt the love of my 67 sisters who helped me maintain a positive attitude.”

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Keegan Connor, who will be a Westfield High School senior, was crowned Miss Indiana’s Teen June 17 in Zionsville. (Photo courtesy of Roger Manning).

The week ended June 17 with Connor being crowned Miss Indiana’s Teen at STAR Bank Performing Arts Center in Zionsville. Connor will be part of the Miss America’s Teen competition, which will held with Miss America competition, in either late this year or early in 2024.

“Becoming Miss Indiana’s Teen is life-changing for me,” she said. “The opportunities and doors that are opening are so exciting. I’ve been working towards this for several years, and it’s so surreal that this is my new reality. Just a few years ago, I had scoliosis surgery and thought this and other dreams like getting to be on Broadway one day were unattainable. But with determination, authenticity and hard work, this title is making my dreams come true. The title helps me gain momentum and weight to share my platform and empower young girls around the state to have dreams and know they can persevere. 

Connor won an evening gown preliminary competition and  was honored with “The Joy of Life” scholarship award for her community service initiative, Keegan Cares: Scoliosis Awareness.

“The keys to performing well for me come down to experience and preparation,” she said. “I’ve been in 30 musicals and competed in Miss Indiana’s Teen for three years, so I’ve had time to perform in front of live audiences. I love the arts and it taught me to realize what I value and how to share that with others.”