Steamboat Springs The day before Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Elle Mann competed for Miss Teen of Colorado, she was asked by a woman to model clothes at a Foley's store in Denver.
Mann said the little modeling experience she received added the confidence she needed to be a winner at the Miss Teen of Colorado pageant which was held Aug. 2 - 4 in Greeley.
Mann came close to winning, finishing as a top-ten finalist out of 115 other teen-age girls from across the state.
"There were so many girls there. Most girls there were really academic," Mann said.
She said to compete in the Miss Teen of Colorado pageant high academic standards are required.
Other girls from Steamboat qualified academically to compete for the Miss Teen of Colorado title, but most turned down the opportunity.
"I thought it would be something fun to do," Mann said. With an interest in modeling, she said she was thrilled to compete for the pageant. She said she is planning to compete in a modeling competition in Boise, Idaho later this year.
To get prepped for the event, Mann said she read many newspapers to get familiar with current events. She said reading newspapers helped with the interview and written question portions of the event.
"This pageant truly reflects the young women of the 21st Century. Sixty percent of the judging involves written resumes and testing, with the strongest single category being the judge's interview," said Warren Alexander, National Director of the Miss Teen of Colorado Scholarship and Recognition Program.
Mann said her scholastic record, poise and interview were her strongest areas.
She said although a teen-age girl must be smart to get into the competition, the winning girls are often very pretty.
Hannah Bliven, titleholder of Miss Teen of Colorado, Mann said, was beautiful.
Being Miss Teen of Colorado requires having a positive image. Mann said the girls who competed were talented in many areas.
There were six categories that competitors were scored in, including scholastic record, achievement and service to school and community, personal development of talent and skills, a written general awareness test, personality projection in formal wear and an interview.
She said she placed first in runway modeling and the sportswear competition, which were optional events that she competed in.
The modeling competitions required participants to select their clothes and express a personality appropriate for their attire.
Other events such as creative writing and art were also offered.
The three-day competition required two hours of dance training a day. Mann, a natural at dancing and a high school varsity cheerleader, enjoyed the extra training.
At the end of the three-day competition, the teenage girls performed a dance production.
Mann said she wasn't really disappointed that she did not finish higher in the pageant, but was just excited to be there.
"It was everything I was inspired by the event," Mann said.