Kyrsten Schlaht brings racing style to pageant

Kyrsten Schlaht wants to break pageantry norms when she competes for 2013 Miss Teen Portland later this month.

The 17-year-old senior at Reynolds High School comes from a family of race car drivers, so when Schlaht found out she was nominated for the pageant, her mom was shocked to learn her daughter wanted to CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Kyrsten Schlaht, of Troutdale, will compete in the 2013 Miss Teen Portland pageant.

“I’m excited about it because I never thought I’d have a kid in a pageant,” Janell Schlaht said.

Kyrsten, of Troutdale, will compete in the 16-to-19-year-old division of the pageant Sunday, Feb. 24, at Glencoe High School for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes and specialty gifts. The winner also will receive a six-day, five-night trip to Orlando, Fla., to represent Portland at the national competition.

“This is so surreal,” Kyrsten has said to her mom several times since learning about her nomination.

The pageant consists of an interview with the judges as well as formal and casual wear. Kyrsten is most looking forward to the casual wear and the opportunity to show off her racing suit.

“(I want to) show people that girls can do it, too, not just guys,” she said.

For many years, Kyrsten has been an apprentice auto mechanic, working on race cars for her family’s “Break the Chain” racing team. Kyrsten said the team uses its platform to raise awareness about domestic violence, addiction, suicide and all types of abuse.

“If she was to see someone needing help... she would go help them,” Janell said. “She would help someone without even second guessing it.”

Kyrsten will graduate this year and wants to attend college in the fall and eventually become a veterinary technician.

She is trying to find sponsors, to help cover the pageant fee. Anyone interested in sponsoring Kyrsten can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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