Pageant is ‘a different experience’
Basehor-Linwood High School junior Christina Sutlick likely feels more at home racing dirtbikes than parading around in front of judges while decked out in heels and an evening gown.
Even so, that isn't dogging the 16-year-old's resolve as she prepares for this month's Miss Kansas Teen USA Pageant.
Earlier this year Christina, the daughter of Basehor residents Tom and Elizabeth Sutlick, was selected to participate in the pageant and vie for scholarships available to participants.
She said the opportunity for a scholarship and the chance to bond with a group of girls she might not otherwise meet were driving factors in her decision to compete.
"It's exciting, but I have never had to really get up on stage like this before so I know I will be a little nervous," she said.
In order to participate in the pageant, scheduled for Nov. 27 at Johnson County Community College's Carlsen Center, Christina had to enlist the financial support of several nearby businesses. With that hurdle behind her, the only remaining obstacles involve preparing for the interview, evening gown and swimsuit aspects of the competition.
Even though she participated in one of the program's orientations, received pointers from a past Miss Teen USA winner and has had a lot of help from her mom, she found walking in heels the way judges expect is easier said than done.
"Mostly because I am used to walking normally," she said.
One might not think it, but all the time Christina spends on her dirtbike with her father may help her during the heat of the pageant's competition. After all, her hobby involves challenging herself in new and different ways.
"It is just something different for me to do," she said. "It is a sport a lot of people can't do."
Although Christina has never entered a pageant before she said doing so is something she has been interested in trying.
Participants in the forthcoming pageant will be divided into two age groups and the winners will advance to represent Kansas in the 2006 Miss Teen USA Pageant.
Even though this competition will be her first pageant, she outlined a set of goals for herself. She wants to walk away from the competition with a few new friends and, perhaps, a scholarship.
"I am hoping to win, in a way, but if I don't I will still have fun with a different experience in a new environment," she said.