A recent high school graduate from the small eastern Iowa town of Monticello is preparing to be seen by millions of T-V viewers tonight as part of the Miss Teen U-S-A pageant. 18-year-old Alyssa Cook is Miss Iowa Teen U-S-A. Cook says she and the other 50 contestants have been very busy since last week when they arrived in Palm Springs, California, practicing their moves and songs for the telecast.If she doesn’t win the crown tonight, Cook plans to attend Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa this fall, where she intends to major in theatre and minor in psychology. The five-foot-seven redhead says she’s anxious about tonight’s show but says she won’t be upset if she doesn’t win. Cook says she’s made a lot of new friends at the national pageant though she admits she had been worried she’d end up in a real-life version of the movie “Drop Dead Gorgeous.”Cook is a vegetarian and says her favorite food is an M-T sandwich, made from mayonnaise and tomatoes. She says being in the national pageant has forced her to make a few changes in what she eats and how she looks, and she takes better care of herself by exercising and watching what she eats.Among her hobbies, Cook lists: catching toads and frogs, rock climbing, rock collecting and climbing trees. The pageant airs at 7 P-M on N-B-C. Anyone with a computer can vote now for Miss Photogenic by logging on to “www.nbc.com” and clicking on the Miss Teen U-S-A link.
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