It hasn't been that many years since Tori Kruse was a basketball, volleyball and golf standout at Glenwood, Iowa, High School. She earned post-season accolades for her basketball prowess at her southwest Iowa high school of about 600 students.
Today, she is Miss Missouri USA and represents the Lake of the Ozarks as Miss Osage Beach. Kruse was crowned Miss Missouri USA in late September during pageant competition at Lindenwood University in St. Charles. She'll now compete in the Miss USA pageant, a precursor to the Miss Universe pageant.
Her first appearance as Miss Missouri USA was at the Glenwood High School Homecoming.
Now a resident of Camdenton, Kruse has double duty as a representative of Miss Missouri USA and as a model with West Model & Talent Management in St. Louis and CESD Talent Agency in Los Angeles. She and Miss Teen Missouri USA Chloe Bartlett of Nevada have been touring the state. Kruse is currently a freelance sports reporter and a full-time model. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Iowa in Iowa City with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Entrepreneurial Management. After graduating college, she began her Miss Missouri USA journey in St. Louis and now the lake area while establishing a career in outside sales.
Like so many others before her, Kruse said she has been coming to the lake for as long as she can remember.
"Through my experience with the Miss Universe Organization, I found a love for public speaking which has now developed my career into sports broadcasting," Kruse said in her online blog. "Not only do I have a love for sports and fitness, but also for traveling the world. I have had the opportunity to travel 48 states in an RV and have explored five other countries while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Exploring the world and meeting diverse people is a hobby that I will continue to engage in."
As women have broken the proverbial Glass Ceiling in sports reporting and broadcasting, Kruse said her love for sports and her penchant for public speaking have served her well in her career. Her leadership qualities are rooted in her high school and college days. At Glenwood High School, she was named second team all-conference basketball and Team Captain. At the U of I, she was president and co-founder of Iowa Retail Organization at Tippie College of Business. She also olunteered and did fundraising for in Habitat for Humanity, Make a Wish Foundation and The Neighborhood Center.
"Growing up playing basketball, volleyball, and golf, I've always had a huge interest in a variety of sports," she explained. "Ideally, I would like to report on college football. My family and I have traveled all over the country to watch college football games. Now, with my passion for public speaking through Miss Missouri USA, I decided to change my career path from sales to a sideline reporter."
After she graduated high school and went to college and started modeling part time she says she decided she needed something competitive in her life since she was done with sports.  
"I came across the Miss Universe organization and started competing back when I was 18 in the Teen Division. I learned more than I could have every imagined and really saw how I could make a difference in not only my personal career path, but in other's lives as well. Therefore, I decided to keep pursing my dream of one day becoming Miss USA."
She says her constant focus on her career can be overshadowed by her passion to volunteer her time and give back to the community. Her adoration for helping children and adults with special needs has always been near to her heart. Kruse says she was honored to be this year’s sports reporter for the Special Olympics at the summer games. She also spends her time reading to underprivileged children and fundraises for organizations such as Nurses for Newborns, Habitat for Humanity, and KidSmart.
As an advocate for the Special Olympics, Kruse will use her voice to express the importance of equality amongst all individuals. As Miss Missouri USA 2018, her goal is to motivate and help young adults develop the courage and confidence to push past their comfort zones. Her hope is that by sharing her personal story, others will be inspired to overcome life’s obstacles and pursue their dreams.
Kruse has been persistent in her path to becoming Missouri's top representative in the Miss USA pageant. She was named Miss Congeniality Miss Missouri USA 2017, Miss Photogenic Miss Missouri USA 2017, Swimsuit Award Miss Missouri USA 2017 and 2016 and was the People's Choice Award for Miss Missouri USA in 2015.
She says she will continue to serve as a voice for underprivileged children ensuring they live a happy, healthy life with a great education. She volunteers her time reading to children and being a mentor for our youth focusing on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.