Basehor teen-ager wins state pageant
Sarah Jump, who's celebrating her birthday today with 17 candles, received an early present Saturday in Wichita.
The Basehor teen was crowned Miss Kansas Teen USA 2000, and next August, she'll compete for the title of Miss Teen USA in Shreveport, La.
Jump, a junior at Basehor-Linwood High School, initially thought pageants weren't for her.
She remembers when her mother asked her last year if she'd like to compete, as her older sister, Jessica, had done.
"I said, 'No way,'" Jump recalled. "I didn't think I wanted to do it. It wasn't my thing at first. I said, 'OK, fine. I'll do it this time, but I'll never do it again.' I did it last year, and it was a lot of fun, and I met a lot of good people."
Then she was hooked.
A panel of nine judges selected Jump from among 19 other young women. Five judges interviewed each woman, and the women competed in swimming suits and evening gowns. Jump won the evening gown competition.
"There were so many good girls," Jump said. "I wasn't expecting top 10 out of 20. I made it halfway. Top five came, and I was really shocked about that."
When her name was called, she said, she was in a daze.
"It took me awhile to figure out if I won, if she won," she said. "Then I realized I did win."
She brought home a crown, a sash and a trophy.
During the next 11 months, Jump expects to continue her exercise regimen, which includes running. In addition, a coach will work with her to sharpen her speaking skills.
At Basehor-Linwood High, Jump runs cross country and track. She also is a varsity cheerleader, participates in forensics and debate, the school chorale and student council.
She was one of three students from the school chosen for Southern Leavenworth County Leadership Class.
Jump, who hopes to be a middle school English teacher, said she would encourage any young woman to try the pageant circuit.
"If they don't like it, they don't have to continue," she said. "I'd tell them to have fun with it."
Her parents, Raymond and Elizabeth Jump, have been tremendously supportive, she said.
"My mom has taken me everywhere," Jump said.
Other young women from the area also competed. Darcy Demetre, Edwardsville, was second runner-up; and Jamie Oberg, Basehor-Linwood, and Adria Lenon, Tonganoxie, both were in the top 10 finalists.
Taylor Flewelling, Tongan-oxie, also was honorable mention and received a special spirit award.