Theresa Vail, a senior at K-State, is Miss Kansas 2013. She won the pageant Saturday, earning the right to compete in Pratt at the Miss America Pageant in September.
Vail represented Leavenworth County in the pageant, but she listed her hometown as Manhattan. She attended Manhattan High for her first two years of high school before her family moved to Leavenworth. Vail, a chemistry and Chinese major, is the daughter of Joy and Mark Vail.
She won preliminary awards during the Miss Kansas Pageant for swimsuit and talent for giving an operatic performance of “Nessun Dorma.”
Vail’s platform was “Empowering Young Women Through Male-Dominated Outdoor Activities.”
On her blog, Miss Outdoor Girl, Vail said she found her strength and confidence when she started hunting and competitively shooting as a teenager.
“When girls learn they have what it takes to ‘hang with the guys, they feel a sense of internal strength, like they can conquer the world and take care of themselves,” she said. “It is an immense confidence-booster and a great way for young girls to find themselves. This takes them out of the partying/drinking scene, and into the most natural of environments. I truly believe my platform will build responsible and respectable young women.”
Vail is also a soldier with the Kansas Army National Guard, which she joined six years ago.
She holds awards as Distinguished Honor Graduate at the Army’s School of Ordnance as a mechanic, Distinguished Honor Graduate at the Army’s School of Health Sciences as a dental technician, and expert marksman with the M16 A2 rifle.