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Blaketown beauty honoured at Miss Teen NL pageant

As she glided across the stage at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 15-year-old Sarah Knight caught the attention of the judges for the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador (MTNL) pageant.

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Blaketown’s Sarah Knight competes in the evening gown competition at the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador pageant Sunday, Oct. 25 at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.

In her royal blue dress with shimmery sparkles, the petite blonde showed grace and elegance while competing in the evening gown competition, the Top 10 speech and finally, the final question.

The Blaketown native and Crescent Collegiate student was named fourth-runner up at the gala and was also the recipient of the Miss Teen Fitness award.

It was a weekend she will never forget.

“I gained so much knowledge, confidence and different skills that will help me grow as a person, and that I can apply to various things throughout my life,” she told The Compass last week.

The event

Each year the MTNL pageant takes place for a weekend in St. John’s. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event, and saw former titleholders from 2006 onwards attend the festivities.

Sarah wasn’t even born when the first pageant took place. But it’s been something she’s followed since she was old enough to know about it.

“Since I was little I’ve had a dream to be on the stage and take part in Miss Teen,” she explained. “To make it that far on my first try, it’s something I’m very proud of.”

Out of the 18 contestants competing Sunday, Oct. 25, Sarah graced the stage as contestant number 15. The winner, Chanel Zhouri, was contestant number 16.

The on-stage portion of the competition included an opening number, which Sarah really enjoyed, a casual wear component and evening gown.

Only the Top 10 presented speeches and the Top 5 did an impromptu question.

“I loved the whole atmosphere of the show,” Sarah explained. “It was such an exciting experience and we all fed off the energy from the audience and the contestants around us.

“I loved in the casual wear portion, how we came down (the stage) from the wings. It made the show that much more interested, and the upbeat music was so fun to dance to.”

She was blown away when her name was announced for the Top 10. All contestants had to prepare a speech on a topic of their choosing. Sarah spoke on her sister Cheryl and the influence she has had on her life.

“The overall message was to appreciate those around you, and all the things they do for you.”

Her speech earned her a spot in the Top 5.

The impromptu question portion is where the contestant gets asked a random question and is judged on her response. Sarah’s question was, “What are the qualities that make a balanced life?”

She shared with the audience how she manages to juggle many activities in her life, including school work, music and volunteer activities.

Fitness winner

She was surprised to claim the fitness title. The fitness competition tests different levels of physical capabilities, including flexibility, strength and balance.

“Since the beginning of September, I have not missed an early morning rise for a workout,” said Sarah. “My goal was to hold a plank or wall sit for three minutes. When I did my fitness test, I think the adrenaline set in and made myself push that much further to success … All of the girls were very talented, and did a fantastic job in all components of the grading system. I’m certainly very proud of myself, and that all the hard work has paid off.”

Sarah is a self-proclaimed pageant lover. She enjoys the activities, events and excitement that go along with participating.

Although this was her first provincial pageant, she is no stranger to the competition. This past September, Sarah was named second runner-up at the Miss Teen Trinity Conception pageant. She also earned the Third runner-up award in 2014.

For the blonde beauty, this will not be her last pageant. She is already excited for what is to come.

“I gained so much knowledge, confidence and different skills that will help me grow as a person, and that I can apply to various things throughout my life,” she said.

“I can’t wait to go back next year and do it all over again.”

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