Proudly wearing her Miss Motocross sash, motocross racer Sara Price didn't make it to the final 20 of the Miss California USA pageant last weekend in Pasadena, Calif. But the 2010 X Games bronze medalist in Super X came out unscathed and said she had a great experience.
"It was something totally different than anything I've ever done before, but being around so many different girls and a experiencing something new was a blast," Price said via email. "From staying in a host hotel, having a roommate and spending practically all day focusing on makeup and hair is a little different … Unfortunately I didn't win, but I know I for sure made an impact and met a lot of wonderful people."
Price, 20, had been first runner-up and "Miss Photogenic" at a pageant for teens last year in San Bernardino County but she was a rookie compared with many of the other 229 competitors. While thanking her supporters on her Facebook page Sunday, Price stated she was "not a popular connected pageant girl ;) haha."
"I am coming from a totally opposite world of motorsports. And they could like that or dislike that from the start as motocross isn't necessarily the sport to portray femininity -- as it is male dominated sport," Price said. "But I wanted to let people know that beautiful women can also race and be good."
Price explained she could tell which contestants competed on a regular basis and which ones didn't.
"Most the girls who are known in the pageant world and expect themselves in the top positions are already preparing for another state pageant in order to place and compete in the next level of Miss USA, which has all states competing for that spot," Price said. "They have 240 women to showcase and there is no possible way those judges can get to know you in a three-minute interview. It felt to me they have their sights set on who they are planning on making the top from the start and focus on the names they know. Just like in motocross we would ask, 'Do you think Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto or James Stewart is going to win tonight?' "
Price has won 17 national amateur titles with three different sanctioning bodies and won AMA/WMX "Rookie of the Year" honors in 2009, but this sort of competition was a different scene than gunning for a holeshot or looking to get inside positions in a motocross race.
"Pageant girls are all actually very friendly and outgoing for the most part," she said. There are those few, like I said, who are there for business just like entering a race and know you are there to win. But at a race we aren't there to be nice; we are there to race. You are being judged and it's not all left on the track because your fate doesn't depend on your performance, it depends on someone else's opinion of you."
Miss Greater San Diego Mabelynn Capeluj was crowned as the new Miss California USA and won a sapphire-and-diamond ring, training for Miss USA pageant, custom clothing and beauty services, and, until it gets passed on in 2014, a diamond tiara.
"Overall it was a great experience, and I do recommend it as long as you go in expecting the least and just have fun like anything else. You meet some very great people in the experience," Price said.