SPEARFISH — Last year, she was fourth runner up in the Miss South Dakota Teen USA pageant out of 25 girls ages 13 to 18 and this year, she’s vying against 16 other young women ages 19-26 for the Miss South Dakota USA crown.
Taynger Borninkhof, 19, of Spearfish, said she’s excited for Saturday’s preliminary competition in Brandon and looking forward to moving on to Sunday’s finals competition.
“I’m very confident,” Borninkhof said of her fourth pageant competition ever. “This year, I’ve been working on becoming a better version of myself, rather than a better version of someone else.”
Borninkhof said she is competing for Miss South Dakota USA in honor of a friend of hers who passed away in March 2016.
“He wished me luck ‘at those pageants you always kick butt at,’” she explained. “He took his life and this was his way of saying ‘goodbye,’ wishing me luck. It brings ease to me knowing he’s going to be there with me when I compete.”
There are three areas of the competition: evening gown, swimwear and the interview.
While there are no formalized interview topics, contestants must be prepared to be on top of their interview game.
“You have to demonstrate you can think on your toes,” Borninkhof said.
Unlike higher level competitions, there is no platform requirement for the ladies must run on, but Borninkhof’s still has one.
“I do a lot of work with the Kenadi Jean Weiss Foundation,” she said. “I also like to help with kids who have special needs.”
So, what’s the most important thing that Borninkhof would like to communicate about herself?
“I’m determined,” she said. “I’m never going to stop chasing this dream. I’m going to bring home the crown for him (her friend she is competing in honor of), me and the town of Spearfish. They’ve never had a Miss South Dakota.”
In her free time, Borninkhof said she continues to work on her personal trainer certification and works two jobs — one at Full Throttle Fitness, the other at Boot Barn.
“I like putting outfits together,” she said. “Fashion and training. I guess those would be my two hobbies right now. I like people and helping them feel good about themselves and the two tie in together pretty well.”
The winner of this weekend’s Miss South Dakota USA pageant moves on to compete in the Miss USA pageant.
“The biggest pageant ever,” Borninkhof said. “In terms of viewership.”
To read all of today’s stories, Click here or call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.