Competing against 80 other contestants, Caitlin Clark was crowned Junior Pre-Teen Miss Alabama at the National American Miss Pageant held recently in Montgomery. Clark will now go to Anaheim, Calif., to compete in the National Pageant in November.

Caitlin, the daughter of David and Connie Clark, will be a fourth grader at Kitty Stone Elementary this upcoming school year.

The pageant does not allow make-up. The girls are judged on both outer and inner beauty as well as poise and how well they present themselves.

The girls are judged on formal wear (30 percent), personal introduction (30 percent), interviews (30 percent) and 10 per cent on community service.

Clark, for being only nine years old, talked about her experience at the pageant with maturity, self-confidence and exuberance.

“It was really fun,” said Clark. “My dad walked me out in my formal, I did a hula hoop turn and dad gave me some roses. Then we walked off the stage. Next I had my interview with the judges.” Having to first change clothes Clark explained, “That was probably the quickest change in my life!”

Clark says that she was nervous and didn’t remember all the questions but one of the questions she was asked was, “What’s the best thing that could ever happen to you?” “Clark said she replied, “I think that since I have a loving family and a family I love, and I just have all these wonderful and amazing things in my life, that I don’t know if anything more amazing could happen!”

The competition lasted three days and included a workshop, pageant check in and pajama party on Thursday. Friday was the formal wear, optional competitions and onstage introduction.

Saturday ended with the interview by the judges.

Clark explained that it was a nervous time waiting to see who won. “There were 15 finalists, “said Clark. “From that they picked four alternates and one winner. When they had given away three alternates I thought, ‘Well, there’s not many places left,’ but I was the winner and I was so happy when they called my name. It was so exciting and the most fun thing to be there. 

“For a moment on stage I wanted to cry. I was so happy because there were a lot of beautiful girls there.”

Each of the girls was given the opportunity to participate in optional competitions. Clark won in the categories of top model shoot and art and came in second in commercials. Other categories are casual wear modeling and photogenic.

This is Clark’s third time to compete in the pageant in Montgomery. Her age category is for 7-9 year olds. 

In the national competition in November in addition to the pageant itself Clark will have to document a four-hour service project she has done. She is already thinking about the possibilities.

While this was Clark’s first win in Montgomery, it wasn’t her first pageant win. Clark has also competed in the Miss Kitty Stone Pageant winning once and coming in as 1st and 2nd alternate the other years. She has also won the Queen of Hearts pageant twice in Hokes Bluff.

While Clark’s beauty is obvious when you first meet her, you quickly learn that she is just as beautiful inside with a happiness and radiance that just glows. You are happy just being around her. While Clark has maturity beyond her years, she still has little girl qualities that are endearing.

Clarks other interests include softball, gymnastics, going to the beach, snow skiing and reading.