Isabella Lenhoff was so proud of being hired as an associate at the new Santee In-N-Out that she wore her chain’s red-and-white ballcap on stage. An 18-year-old West Hills High School student didn’t become Miss Santee as she had hoped, but she shared some fast-food wisdom: A smile is part of your uniform.
So it went Friday night at Sonrise Church, where a smaller than usual number of contestants vied for crowns, tiaras and assorted sashes and plaques in the annual two-city pageant.
Miss Santee had six entrants and Miss La Mesa the same number. Four competed for Miss Teen La Mesa and five had their eyes on Miss Teen Santee.
Before a crowd of about 400 people, the pageants still lived up to their billing for excitement and entertainment—and plenty of humor.
Miss La Mesa contestant Katie Hudgins, 18, of San Diego State did her speech all in rhyme.
Eventual Miss Teen Santee winner Marissa Lawrence of Santana High School came out in a white apron and shared her admiration for famous TV cooks, vowing to become one of them.
“Don’t be surprised if you walk into Marissa’s Cuisine or see me on the big screen,” she said.
Eventual Miss Santee winner Emily Zobel, a 19-year-old SDSU student, put on big sunglasses and peformed a rap routine.
Also introducing themselves were 14 Junior Miss participants of junior high age and the same number of Princess girls—who told what they wanted to be when they grew up. Miss USA and Miss America were dreams of two girls.
But it was 6-year-old Ireland Hack of La Mesa whose dreams were the most touching.
The girl with Down’s syndrome, led onstage by outgoing Miss Teen Santee Casey Maynard, was said to want to be a mermaid or a dancer—or a dancing mermaid.