Miss ND USA, Teen USA pageants scheduled this weekend

Women with local ties are among contestants participating in the Miss North Dakota USA and Teen USA scholarship pageant this weekend.

Morgan Layton and Paige Hoffarth are among 15 contestants competing for Miss ND USA.

Hoffarth, who is Miss Nelson County, graduated from Minot High School in 2015 and now lives in Niagara. She and her husband, AJ, have four children. This is the first year the Miss USA organization is allowing mothers and married women to compete. Hoffarth started North Dakota’s first Climb Out of the Darkness team, a fundraising event created by Postpartum International. Team North Dakota will hold its annual walk event June 23 in Minot.

Layton, who is Miss Minot, was born in Minot, later moving with her military family. She is studying psychology and education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Devyn Bechel and Olivia Redding are among 11 contestants in the Miss ND USA Teen division.

Bechel, 16, of Minot, is Miss Minot. Her hobbies include volleyball, dance and musical theater, and she enjoys volunteering, singing and dancing. She once auditioned for America’s Got Talent.

Redding, 18, is Miss Burlington. She graduated from Des Lacs-Burlington High School, where she was treasurer for the senior class and National Honor Society, served on the Student Advisory Council and participated on the volleyball team.

Contestants compete in evening gown, active wear or swimwear and personality interview. They must be between the ages of 14 and 28 and be North Dakota residents.

This year’s Miss North Dakota USA and Teen USA and Miss South Dakota USA and Teen USA scholarship pageants will take place over the same weekend in the same city. This year, all contestants will travel to the Watertown Events Center in Watertown, South Dakota.

Preliminaries will be held Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and the finals will be held Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

More details and webcast information are available at missnorthdakotausa.com. Winners will advance to the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA events in Reno, Nevada.

The current Miss ND USA is SaNoah LaRocque, an enrolled citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who attended Central High School in Grand Forks and Harvard. She now works in financial consulting, assisting tribal nations with management of funding.

The current Miss ND Teen USA is Berkley Lundeen, who attended Bishop Ryan Catholic School in Minot and is a marketing student at the University of North Dakota.


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