PARACHUTE - Grand Valley High School junior Haydon Metcalf's quest for a national pageant title ended in triumph at the National American Miss pageant in Anaheim, Calif., during Thanksgiving week. She is the first participant from Colorado to earn the National American Miss Junior Teen title.
"I was overjoyed, my heart skipped a beat," Metcalf said. "I couldn't believe it."
Metcalf, 16, has been involved in pageants for five years, competing in five state-level competitions and four national contests through the National American Miss pageant system, which hosts pageants nationwide for girls and young women from ages 4-20.
Metcalf won the Colorado title in July, earning her a place in the national finals. Her family drove to California and checked in Monday, Nov. 26.
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They crowned the winner the following Sunday. The week's activities included a day at Disneyland for all the contestants.
"They close down the park for the day and set up group photos and let the girls hang out. It's really neat," Metcalf's mother, Lori, explained.
The week also included a series of optional competitions for the contestants. Haydon Metcalf placed third in the photogenic contest and first in the acting contest. Thursday was the formal wear competition and a drawing for a Mustang. The personal introduction contest was held Friday, followed by interviews on Saturday and the finale on Sunday, with rehearsals in between.
"She really had the attitude that she was going to do it," Lori Metcalf said. "I was just hoping she made the top ten."
Haydon's name was called last when the top ten finalists were announced, then last again for the top five, before she was finally named the national junior teen winner.
"She won Miss Personality again, too," Lori Metcalf said of her daughter. "It's voted on by the other contestants. Out of ten competitions, she has been voted Miss Personality nine times, and the other time she was first runner-up."
Haydon Metcalf will spend the coming year doing volunteer work as part of her "reign," taking part in the National American Miss photo shoot in February in Texas, and attending as many state pageants as possible during the pageant season.
"I've been able to visit a lot of the Colorado pageants this year and I really enjoyed it," she said. "I'm excited to visit the other girls in the other state pageants and be an inspiration to them."