Hayden She stood in front of a panel of judges, terrified.
It was Friday, the day before the final competition of 2003 Miss Jr. Teen Denver pageant on at Teikyo Ooretto Height University Theater. She was competing for a $1,000 scholarship.
The judges asked 15-year-old Hayden High School freshman Alicia Kay Hall what famous person she looked up to most.
"I thought of George Bush, but I really don't like him," Hall said. "And I thought they probably liked him, so I didn't say anything. I couldn't think of anyone else."
She didn't give them an answer. It didn't matter.
Evidently, the judges liked Hall's answers to the other questions, as she placed third runner-up -- fourth overall -- out of 500 original contestants. Her fellow contestants also voted her "Miss Congeniality," so she brought home two trophies.
When asked to describe herself in one word she said: "'Able,' because it can mean different things like creative, intelligent and determined."
"I'm really happy with the way things turned out," Hall said. "I didn't even think I'd make it past the first interview."
Some of the girls did not know what to do for the modeling part of the contest, in which the girls had to walk the runway. Hall showed them how it was done, and she said she thinks that's why the girls voted her as "Miss Congeniality."
"I thought it was a good experience for her," said Alicia's mom, Annette Hall. "I think it showed her how to carry herself and how to answer questions on short notice. I knew she'd do well."
Officials at the competition would not tell Hall how or why she was selected for the competition, but Hall said she believes she was selected for her involvement in jazz dancing, which she does weekly at Steamboat Ballet.
Hall is also a high honor roll student, a cheerleader and a member of the volleyball team at Hayden High School, so she had that going for her as well.
"This was my first pageant, so I have a lot more confidence for the next one," Hall said.
The next step is the national competition in Florida. Hall said she might go.
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