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Wichita teen wins right to represent Kansas in Miss Teen USA pageant

Hailey Colborn, a Northwest High School senior, will represent Kansas in the 2018 Miss Teen USA Pageant.
Hailey Colborn, a Northwest High School senior, will represent Kansas in the 2018 Miss Teen USA Pageant.

The new Miss Kansas Teen USA is a Northwest High School senior who hopes to study political journalism at Princeton next year.

Hailey Colborn, 17, will represent Kansas in the Miss Teen USA Pageant, which will happen next year. She competed as Miss Greater Wichita and won the title over 27 other girls at a pageant Sunday night at the Kansas Star Event Center in Mulvane. Miss Kansas USA was named at the same event.

The current Miss Teen USA, Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff of Parkville, Mo., was crowned in August. She represented Missouri and is a student at the University of Kansas.

Colborn, a seasoned dancer with Rogers Ballet in Wichita, has been competing in pageants since she was 9, she said. She’s won several titles, but this one is the most prestigious, she said.

“I only did one a year, and then we took a few years off,” said Colborn, the daughter of Kevin and Denise Colborn. “But I really enjoy them. They’re great confidence builders, and it’s tremendous fun.”

In the teen pageant, contestants must undergo an interview with judges and compete in an evening gown competition. Instead of modeling swimsuits, they’re asked to model sportswear.

Colborn won the interview portion of the pageant.

“I was extremely excited about that,” she said.

Colborn is waiting to hear back from Princeton University, where she’s applied to study journalism. In the meantime, she’ll spend her time making appearances as Miss Kansas Teen USA and preparing for the national pageant. (She’ll also be busy dancing the role of the Dew Drop Fairy in Friends University’s production of “The Nutcracker.”)

For now, she’s savoring the win, which happened in front of an auditorium of her family and friends.

“They all jumped up,” she said of the moment her name was announced as winner. “I saw my mother crying about as much as I was.”

Melanie Shaner, Miss Johnson County, won Miss Kansas USA.

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