One word described how Ciara Martin felt Friday night when she was crowned Harlem High School's 2010 homecoming queen.
"Exhilarating," the teary-eyed Harlem senior said.
At halftime of the Harlem-Butler High School football game, Martin received her crown and a bouquet of flowers in front of a full stadium.
"I didn't think I'd get it because there were so many awesome girls," she said.
Martin, who is captain of the school's varsity cheerleading squad, was escorted by her father, John Bennett.
In addition to cheerleading, Martin is involved in several school organizations. She is president of student council, treasurer of her senior class, an officer of Vocational Industrial Clubs of America and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Harlem students also named Chernita Edwards first runner-up and Amanda Rogers second runner-up. Both are also seniors.
Edwards was escorted by her brother Jonathan and became emotional when she received a special message via the loudspeakers from her father, who was serving in Afghanistan with the Army.
John Edwards said he was "extremely proud" of his daughter. He was scheduled to return home Saturday.
"That was unexpected," Chernita Edwards said. "I'm just happy he got to say something to me before he got back."
The entire week was stressful, but fun for the homecoming court, Martin said.
After graduating from Harlem, Martin's plans include attending Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, where she wants to earn a degree in history while minoring in education.
The girls on homecoming court have been friends since middle school, said Rogers, who also was escorted by her father, Eric Rogers.
Rogers said she thinks Martin will make a great homecoming queen.
"I think she's amazing," she said.
"She's friends with everybody."
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