Tonganoxie's Danielle Boatwright was named second runner-up Tuesday in the Miss Teen USA pageant, which was rearranged around Hurricane Andrew.
Danielle, a Tonganoxie High School senior who was named Miss Kansas Teen USA in April, lost to Miss Iowa Jamie Solinger. Miss Oklahoma Angela Logan, 17, was first runner-up. The pageant was held in Biloxi, Miss.
The girls competed in swimsuit, evening gown, personal interview and on-stage interview categories.
Danielle was still in Biloxi this morning, and her flight home had been canceled because of Andrew. In a phone interview, she said she was pleased with the outcome of the pageant.
She was offered a modeling contract with Flame in Paris and Los Angeles the night before the pageant and knew she couldn't juggle the responsibilities of the Miss Teen USA title and modeling.
"THIS IS exactly what I wanted," she said. "I was really good friends with Miss Iowa, who won. She is just the neatest girl in the world."
Many teens from the Midwest were named as top 12 finalists, and the final three all were from the country's Heartland, so "we were teasing all the Southern girls that the Midwest rules," Danielle said with a laugh.
She said she was happy with her scores in the various categories.
"I was really excited that I won the preliminary swimsuit because I've been working out so hard," she said.
After the top 12 finishers were announced, Danielle won second place in the evening gown and interview competitions.
At one point, Danielle walked on stage while a recording of her voice played. In the recording, she said the first traffic light in her hometown was installed about two weeks ago, which isn't true of Tonganoxie. She said this morning the comment was a mistake and she asked to retape it, but was told not to worry about it.
DURING A break in the contest, Leeza Gibbons, a pageant host, chatted with a former Miss Teen USA about Danielle's devotion to physical fitness. They said she led other contestants in workouts during their stay in Biloxi. They also commented that Danielle, a big fan of the Kansas University Jayhawks, stashed KU cups in the sleeves of her evening gown for good luck.
Danielle said she plans to return to school for a few weeks before heading to Paris or Los Angeles for a short time. She hopes to complete her senior year early by taking correspondence courses, and might take a year to pursue modeling before heading to college to study broadcast journalism.
The pageant was to be televised live Tuesday evening on CBS, but, with the approach of Andrew, it was taped earlier and the contestants were bused further inland to weather the storm. The hurricane passed to the west of Biloxi, bringing only heavy rains and high winds to the city.