Though winning the Miss Teen USA title has been a dream of 18-year-old Katie Blair?s since she was a child growing up in Billings, Montana, she only entered her state competition 4 days before it took place! Almost a year later, on August 15th, 2006, in front of a live television audience on NBC, her dream became a reality. A recent high school graduate, Katie will attend Louisiana State University, where she plans to major in advertising and marketing and will also pursue an associate?s degree in fashion design. (Her love of design is no surprise given that this intrepid art lover once traveled to Amsterdam to visit Van Gogh?s museum!) She says her dream job is to one day buy, sell and design clothes for her own company off Madison Avenue in New York City. West High graduate Katie Blair was crowned Miss Teen USA Tuesday night in Palm Springs, Calif. Blair, 18, is the daughter of John Blair of Billings and Cindy Silverstein of Houston. She is a 2006 graduate of West High, which she began attending as a sophomore after moving to Billings from Houston, said her aunt, Leslie Blair of Billings. ?I think it?s fabulous that she won, competed well and had the confidence to do this,? Leslie Blair said. Blair had planned to attend Louisiana State University. For the next year, she will live in New York City and work for Donald Trump, who owns the pageant, while serving her term as Miss Teen USA. The contestants competed in three categories - swimsuit, evening gown and interview, and the top five finalists were selected. Blair was crowned by Miss Teen USA 2005 Allie LaForce at the end of a two-hour telecast at the Palm Springs Convention Center. In an interview on the Miss Teen USA Web site (www.missteenusa.com), Blair said she grew up in Houston and lists two years of track and basketball in high school there. Blair was prom queen in 2006 and voted ?most likely to star in a sitcom? by her classmates at West High. According to the interview, Blair said she plans to pursue degrees in advertising, marketing and fashion design. Miss North Carolina Teen USA Melissa Lingafelt was named first runner-up, and Miss North Dakota Teen USA Katie Marie Cooper was second runner-up. Rounding out the top 10 were Samantha Casey, Miss Virginia Teen USA, third runner-up; Brittany Sharp, Miss Georgia Teen USA, fourth runner-up; Shaelyn McNally, Rhode Island; Juliana White, New Jersey; Gentry Linn Miller, Kansas; Jamie O?Brien, Maryland; and Emerald Zellers, Arizona. The pageant is organized by the Miss Universe Organization, a Donald Trump and NBC Universal partnership. The organization also produces the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. According to the organization?s Web site, Miss Teen USA spends her year building relationships with organizations committed to education and action, such as Best Buddies, Do Something, Sparrow Clubs, D.A.R.E. and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
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