Rising Sandy Springs sophomore Ansley McGhee is often seen on a pitcher’s mound – striking out batter after batter both as the Holy Innocents’ starting pitcher and on her travel squad. This summer, however, she took her success to the national level – and in a pageant gown, not a softball uniform.
Ansley was named Miss USA National Junior Teen July 1st after earning the crown over some 25 contestants. Participants compete for scholarships and other prizes in the contest.
It wasn’t Ansley's first brush with national success: She placed in the top five at the Miss Georgia Peach Jr. Teen American Coed last year as well as fifth at the Miss Southern States Jr. Teen for USA National.
Her crown earlier this month was her first national title.
Ansley and other contestants were put through a rigorous two-day schedule at the Atlanta Hilton Airport Hotel in July. “We competed that Friday night in both evening gown and runway,” she said. “Saturday morning they compiled the scores; then the top ten competed again. From there, they called out the top five.”
When only two were left, many would think the nerves would be high for the young Holy Innocents’ coed. Ansley, however, said she had a different feeling.
“I’ve been in similar situations before, plus the other girl is one of my best friends. Obviously I wanted to win, but I would have been perfectly comfortable if she had won, as well," she said.