Life after the Rodeo

Miss Destin Rachel McMullen reflects on tournament, her future

Annie Blanks
The Destin Log
Miss Destin 2017 Rachel McMullen poses with two little fans, Olive, left, and Hazel Ray, earlier this year at the Meet Miss Destin event at The Inn on the Harbor hotel. [FILE PHOTO]

Following her month-long stint at the Destin Fishing Rodeo, Miss Destin 2017 Rachel McMullen said she is “doing great” and getting back into the swing of college applications and school activities.

McMullen, who is 18, spent every day after school and on the weekends in October on the Rodeo docks helping weigh fish and take photos. But the Fort Walton Beach High School senior was also pulling double duty as a busy student leader.

“I’m still working hard in school, getting my schoolwork done and finishing scholarship applications,” she said of life after the Rodeo. “Now I just have a little more free time to hang out with my friends.”

McMullen said she has already been accepted to the University of Alabama and Auburn University, but she is waiting to hear back from the University of Florida on whether or not she was accepted there. In the meantime, she is applying to other schools and looking for scholarships. She also stays busy as vice president of the National Honor Society, president of the Science National Honors Society, member of the Beta Club and Viking Ladies and captain of the cross country team.

She still has a few events to look forward to as Miss Destin, including the 33rd annual Destin Christmas Parade, which will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. But for now, she’s primarily looking back on her reign during the world famous fishing tournament.

“This year’s Rodeo was a lot of fun,” she said. “There was a lot of really good competition, We really just made the best with what we had cause the weather was a little bit down, but it was a good year.

“The Rodeo was an awesome time,” she added. “Sometimes I still wish I was down there hanging out with everybody taking pictures with some fish.”