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Patterson earns state teen crown

Thorsby High School senior Keeley Patterson has a new crown and title to add to her collection – 2009 Miss Teen Alabama United States.

The reigning Miss Peach took part in the competition Sunday, beating out five others to win the title and earn a trip to the Miss Teen United States pageant to be held in Las Vegas.

“I was so excited when they called my name. It is something we’ve worked very hard for,” Patterson said of the win. “There is now a lot of work to do before we go to Las Vegas.”

Patterson said Sunday’s competition was different than most competitions but only in the format.

“You get there the morning of the pageant, no rehearsals,” Patterson said. “You leave your parents, and you’re on your own throughout the day.”

Patterson said the competition included an opening number, interviews, two-piece bathing suit, evening wear, on-stage question and photogenic. In addition to the overall title, Patterson earned wins in the swimsuit and photogenic categories.

“I really want to thank Mr. (Richard) Davis for his helping me with this,” Patterson said of Peach Pageant coordinator Richard Davis.

For Patterson, the hard work begins now in preparing for the national competition.

“Now I get to work with my nutritionist and pageant coach getting ready for the next step,” Patterson said. “I want to really work on my physical conditioning and becoming less nervous answering the on-stage questions.”

The Miss Teen United States competition will be held the week of July 11 through July 17.