A Clear Lake native has been crowned the new Miss Iowa. 23-year-old Carolyn Nicholas beat out 17 other contestants to win the title Saturday night in suburban Davenport. She says she was “shocked and really, really happy” when she won. Nicholas says there was a lot of preparation other than for the talent, interview, swimwear, and evening gown competitions. Nicholas says contestants need to build a volunteer work platform and she is concentrating on Alzheimer’s disease awareness, research and prevention. Nicholas took a trip to the nation’s capitol this spring as the only Iowa delegate out of 300 people in a public policy forum on Alzheimer’s. Nicholas says it’s a non-stop job being Miss Iowa between now and the Miss America competition in Atlantic City in September. Nicholas, whose talent is playing the flute, is a third-year law student at Drake University in Des Moines. Nicholas was also Miss Iowa Teen when she was in high school, and was first runner-up in the 2002 Miss Iowa pageant.