Archive for Wednesday, February 16, 2000

She’s one busy teen-ager

Sarah Jump is preparing for a national pageant, attending classes

February 16, 2000

Living the life of Miss Teen Kansas, Basehor's Sarah Jump keeps her priorities in perspective.

After all, there's cheerleading, all-star cheerleading, high school chorale, the upcoming track season and, of course, scholastics, to take care of first.

A calendar on the refrigerator shows Sarah's activities and proves her highly scheduled life, which by the way, does include official Miss Teen Kansas appearances.

Always on the go, she's learned to take shortcuts.

Saying her favorite clothes to wear are jeans and a nice T-shirt, she admits it takes her a whole 10 minutes from the time she awakens until she walks, or one would imagine, runs, out the door to go to school.

Some days, life is so busy that she takes her own breakfast with her.

"I took a box of cereal to school, opened the box and spent 25 cents on milk to pour in it," Sarah said. "I shared it with a friend and we both agreed it was one of the best breakfasts we'd had in a long time."

So, she's busy, she's an expert in time management, and she's thrifty, too.

She'll carry this thriftiness to the national Miss Teen USA pageant in August when she goes to Shreveport, La.

The contestants will be there for 17 days.

"We have to have at least two outfits for every day," Sarah said, explaining that this doesn't mean her usual jeans and T-shirts. It means cocktail dresses and evening outfits.

To save on costs, her mother is going to make some of her clothes.

"It's a lot of money just to buy a few dresses that are ready made," Sarah said.

Her pride in her mother's stitchery is well-founded. Last year at the state competition, Sarah won first place in the evening gown competition and her dress was made by her mother, Liz Jump.

Earlier this month, Sarah learned more about what to expect at the national tournament when she and her mother attended the Miss USA pageant in Branson, Mo.

"We just went to watch," said Liz Jump. "It's all on TV and the bright lights were on. I was looking around at the huge audience in the auditorium and thinking this isn't even all of it."

The program was broadcast to 70 countries, she said.

"And Miss Teen USA is the same way," Liz Jump said. "They broadcast it all over the world."

In Branson, Sarah met seven of the teen contestants against whom she will be compete in nationals. Already, she has a photo album filled with pictures of her new friends.

The weekend in Branson was a good experience, she said.

"Now I'm really excited to do Miss Teen USA," she added.

Sarah, who participated in the Miss Teen Kansas in 1998, as well as 1999, said the interview with the judges, which only last about five minutes, is one of the most important parts of the pageant on the state and national levels.

"I wasn't as nervous during the interviews this year as I was last year," she said. "Because I'd done it before and I knew what it was like."

The questions posed by the judges can be tough.

"They asked me what I thought about Brittany Spears getting breast implants and what I thought about plastic surgery," Sarah said. "My questions weren't that bad, but some of the contestants were asked if they would pull the wings off a butterfly if someone offered them $2,000."

Entering the Kansas pageant was her mother's idea, Sarah said.

"I didn't want to do it at first," she said. "But my mom asked me to do it. Then I went to a voice teacher and she said 'You will do it.'"

After placing in the top 10 her first year and being crowned Miss Kansas Teen her second year, Sarah now says she's glad her mother talked her into it.

"This is exciting," she said. "It's something not a lot of people get to do."

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