Freshman vies for Miss Teen USA

Tuesday, August 12

Every freshman has a laundry list of things to do before heading off to college – packing clothes, running last-minute errands, saying goodbye to friends and family.

But Brianne Hiltz’s college prep also includes an unusual task: beating out dozens of young starlets to win Miss Teen USA 2008.

Hiltz, a freshman in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, will represent her home state of Connecticut at the annual competition on Aug. 16 at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. It is the first time in recent years that Miss Teen USA is not televised.

The self-proclaimed “tomboy” said she did not expect to win her state’s competition last November, and was floored when she learned she would be competing against 50 other teen beauty queens from across the country.

“(Miss Connecticut Teen 2008) was my first pageant ever,” Hiltz said. “I did it on a whim with only three weeks to prepare myself, thinking I would just ride it out until wherever it takes me.”

The blonde-haired teen said she thinks the same individuality that got her into GW will make her stand out in the national competition this week.

“(The other contestants) have all been doing competitions for a while,” she said. “I’m not a girlie-girl; I don’t get manicures and pedicures or anything.”

She added, “I’ve been told I’m bringing a fresh air to the pageant world.”

While the future music major said she looks forward to the competition, she said this will be her first and last national pageant. Hiltz is more excited about obtaining the title of “GW student” when she moves to D.C. at the end of August, she said.

“I’m really looking forward to everything about GW, moving to D.C. and all of the great opportunities the school and the city have to offer,” she said.

But Hiltz said she does not want her pageant title to affect how her future classmates see her.

She said, “I don’t want people to have an assumption before they meet me that I am just a ‘pageant girl.'”

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