You’re 16. You’re a star athlete with a 4.2 grade point average. So what else is left for a high school girl to do? In August, Allie LaForce of Vermilion became the youngest winner of the Miss Teen USA pageant, following in the footsteps of her mom, Lesa, who was Miss Ohio USA in 1977. “I’m not this crazy pageant person or anything, but this is pretty cool,” says Allie.
Nobody’s this perfect. What’s wrong with you?
Allie: My room’s a mess.
This whole basketball thing. Isn’t Miss Teen USA supposed to be a girlie girl?
Allie: No way, I’m an athlete at heart. I love basketball.
Lesa: She was the leading scorer on her high school team last year. First-team, all-county, too.
When did you really think you had a chance to win?
Allie: When they cut it down to 15. I’m pretty competitive, and that’s when I thought, Time to turn it on, baby!
Lesa: I was never too confident. I’ve been around a lot of these and I’ve seen too many weird things happen.
What’s the worst part?
Allie: When it’s time to do your interview and they play this serious music and then they dim the lights and they’re like, “This is the most important moment of your life, Allie.” That’s pretty nerve-racking.
For the entire state of Ohio, tell me Miss Michigan was a jerk.
Allie: Sorry, she’s my best friend. She even has relatives in Vermilion — how weird is that? It was so cool we were the last two left.
Did you meet Donald Trump?
Allie: He was very nice and basically said, “The ratings were up. Good job.”
How do you juggle this and 11th grade?
Allie: On weekends, I’m going to be spending a lot of time traveling, talking to teens about M.A.D.D. and getting involved with community service. I’m really excited.
Five years from now:
Allie: I want to be at Northwestern [University] getting my journalism degree and playing college basketball.
Ten years from now:
Allie: I want to be an anchor on “SportsCenter.”
What are you most excited about for your daughter?
Lesa: This is an incredible experience for her. What a wonderful way to prepare her for life.
Has your dad bought a shotgun to keep the young men away?
Allie: He doesn’t need a gun. He was an all-American football player.
You know, you should play basketball wearing the tiara and sash.
Allie: That’d freak people out, wouldn’t it?