NORTH YARMOUTH — Eight months after earning the Miss Maine Teen USA title, Molly Fitzpatrick is about to head to the Bahamas to compete at the national level.
The 17-year-old North Yarmouth resident and rising Greely High School senior will leave for the Miss Teen USA event with her parents July 22.
A preliminary competition will be held that weekend, and on July 28 judges will choose the top 15 semifinal contestants. But the public will also play a part in the decision, getting to vote online for the “fan favorite” 16th semifinal girl. The semifinalists are then narrowed down to five finalists who will compete for the title.
There are 51 contestants; one from each state, as well as the District of Columbia. Each girl had to win a state title in order to compete in the national event.
The competition covers areas like evening wear and fitness, and contestants will also be interviewed individually by a panel of judges in the preliminary round. The top five contestants will answer questions on stage before an audience.
“There’s a lot of preparation that goes into it,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think the biggest thing for me is going there and knowing that I’m going to be comfortable with myself, because if I’m nervous or scared or doubting myself, then there’s no chance of doing well.”
She said she has prepared by maintaining a healthy and nutritional diet, working out as much as she can, and practicing interview skills.
The Maine competition last November was Fitzpatrick’s first pageant. A self-described “sports junkie,” she has played soccer, lacrosse and rugby, and participated in indoor and outdoor track. She is also an Irish dancer, like her sisters.
Fitzpatrick said being Miss Teen Maine has allowed her to follow her love of giving back to the community, but on a statewide scale.
To vote for Fitzpatrick and learn more about her, log onto missuniverse.com/missteenusa/members/contestants and find her under the Maine listing. Voting began July 1 and wraps up at midnight Friday, July 27. People can vote up to 10 times a day, using their Facebook or Twitter accounts, or a valid e-mail address.
Molly Fitzpatrick of North Yarmouth will compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant this month.