By Scott Bestul
I have almost zero interest in beauty pageants, but I’m already rooting for Miss Kansas in the upcoming Miss America pageant. Theresa Vail, who’s representing the Sunflower State, is an avid bowhunter and according to this story was apparently bummed when she was told her first choice for the talent competition—archery—just wasn’t going to work. So Vail did what virtually no bowhunter, male or female, has ever done...learned an operatic aria in 48 hours. And she nailed it well enough to claim the Miss Kansas crown.
Vail’s non-beauty queen qualities extend beyond the deer woods. She’s an Army sergeant (only the second active-duty contestant in pageant history), an M16 marksman, and a mechanic. And don’t mistake Vail for one of those pageant brats who make vying for tiaras their life’s pursuit. She hopped in her first pageant less than a year ago, and only because her commanding officer advised her to.