Karlie Hay, an 18-year-old high school graduate from Tomball, Texas, was crowned Miss Teen USA 2016 last July 30. The self-professed roller coaster fanatic beat 50 other teen queens at the pageant’s 34th edition, held at The Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A favorite from the get-go, Hay sealed her frontrunner status after reciting excerpts from the US Constitution Preamble in the final round. When asked about which teen issue should presidential candidates address, she cited peer pressure, saying that “…the next president needs to confront this issue and really just let teens know that you need to be yourself and you need to be a leader.” “Of course, the next Miss Teen USA should be a leader as well“, she emphasized.
Hay is the third Texan to capture the title, following the footsteps of Christie Lee Woods from 1996 and Danielle Doty from 2011. Texas now earns the distinction of being the most successful state in both the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. Note that while Oregon also has three previous winners, the Lone Star State boasts far more placements.