The Competition Breakdown with Katie Schreckengast
Katie Shreckengast’s platform is an incredibly meaningful part of her time as Miss Pennsylvania, but we cannot ignore the amount of hard work, discipline and training it took to be in the top ten at Miss America this year.
Most of the American public are not aware of how much it takes to even get that far. Contestants are typically involved with this and sometimes other pageant systems for years, training and honing their individual strengths in each category of competition before ever being “Miss America ready” and contenders for the top 15.
So how did Katie Schreckengast prepare?
Talent: The alto sax Schreckengast inherited from her father and played since 4th grade band contributed to her experience in her high school band, then the Penn State Blue Band and the talent performance at Miss America. She says her days as a competitive swimmer in high school gave her the lung power to hold high notes on her sax.
Interview & On-Stage Questions: Between the ages of 13 and 16 she was required to keep up with current events and had ample opportunities to practice speaking publicly when competing for the title of Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen, a title she won in 2013. This led her to choosing broadcast journalism as her major at Penn State. Her mom would ask her common interview questions, but Schreckengast says the best questions are from appearances because you don’t know what you’ll be asked.
Her go-to current events news sources: The Daily Skimm, CNN, NBC and ABC.
Evening wear (and other outfits): The business owner of Showroom 56 in Wilkes-Barre, PA provided jewelry, dresses and shoes in outfits for Miss America week, a sponsor who she had connections to from her days as the Outstanding Teen.
“She gave me an outfit for the plane, an outfit for when I landed – she was so on top of the game. And truly feeling your best in great looking clothing helps you to perform your best and be your best self,” says Schreckengast.
Makeup: “There aren’t a ton of Youtube tutorials for Asian-American eye makeup. So it wasn’t until I had sponsors through the Miss PA organization… in Georgia with Matt & Meredith Boyd… helped me figure out how to do my own makeup… That was really important for me, because that step was really the first step I took as Miss PA that made me realize – you know what, this makes me look and feel like Miss America,” says Schreckengast.
Lifestyle & Fitness: Her partner was a group called F45 training that used HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training” workouts. To mention again, the former swimmer already had the self-discipline of an athlete, easily being able to physically prep for the swimsuit portion of the competition.
“You have a partner throughout it and everyone’s cheering each other on and it felt like high school swimming again,” says Schreckengast.
Schreckengast has won around $26,000 in scholarship towards her college education from her involvement with the Miss America Organization.