ELDRIDGE — A pair of sisters can now both say they’ve worn the Miss Iowa crown.

Miss Cedar River, Emily Nicholas, of Clear Lake, won the Miss Iowa crown last night.

Her older sister, Carolyn Nicholas, had already won the title of Miss Iowa 2004.

Pageant board member Kay McIntyre says the Nicholas’ victories make them the first pair of sisters to be named Miss Iowa.

Emily Nicholas said her sister’s advice for the pageant was to be herself and to “have a good time.” Her sister also told her not get caught up in competition with the other girls.

The advice paid off — and now Carolyn Nicholas, a graduate of Drake University School of Law, has more advice for her younger sister during her yearlong stint as Miss Iowa.

“She needs to make the most of every opportunity,” Carolyn said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It was the best year of my life.”

Julie Nicholas, Carolyn’s and Emily’s mother, said she was proud of her daughters. She said the Miss Iowa competition had been good for both of them.

“We’ve seen how it has brought out the best in both of them,” she said. “They learned confidence, poise, and they’ve had so many opportunities open up for them. ‘They’re so proud to be from Iowa.”

During the next year, Emily Nicholas plans to focus on her platform, “Character Counts — Be All That You Can Be.”

“I think it’s so important for kids to make better decisions,” she said. “Some kids don’t know right from wrong. They need good influences to be able to make good decisions. I try to be a positive role model to help people of all ages.”

As the 2006 winner, Emily Nicholas will receive $10,000 in scholarships and awards and will represent the state in January at the Miss America Pageant.

Miss Clinton County Alisa White was named first-runner up after making it to the top five Saturday night. She won the preliminary talent portion on Friday and the Interview Scholarship Award for earning the highest number of points for the interview portion on Thursday.

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