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Pacific University students are often well-rounded individuals with a number of interests and activities they are dedicated to and balance with their schoolwork throughout the year. Not only is junior Kayla Knock a competitive swimmer on Pacific’s swim team, she is also a beauty pageant competitor and on Oct. 16 she competed in Miss Oregon USA where she placed third runner-up. It was Knock’s third straight year competing in the pageant, where in both years prior she finished in the top five. 
Knock admitted that being close to winning the entire competition but never quite doing so can be frustrating. “I just want to win so badly,” Knock said. “I don’t think I will stop competing in pageants until I do.” However, Knock did mention that being able to win over 15 different judges throughout her three year pageant run as a competitor has given her the confidence to keep pursuing a victory. Knock said that she had spent the whole year, since the 2015 pageant, preparing for this year’s competition and as a part of her training worked with an interview coach after receiving hard-to-answer questions at the 2015 pageant. 
Knock also said that her swimming career at Pacific has helped in more ways than one when it comes to preparing for competitions. “I am able to train and work on swimming, which also helps my body prepare for the swimsuit portion,” Knock said. Swimming has also helped Knock to maintain a “buffer and toned” body, which in her opinion exemplifies beauty. 
Knock was not alone at this year’s competition and was cheered on from the crowd by friends and peers from members of the swim team, who had come to support their teammate. 
“It meant a lot to me,” Knock said. “The fact they came without me really even asking or telling them to come and that they did it purely by their own choice shows how amazing they are.” The pageant training has also helped to calm Knock’s nerves before swim meets and has even helped her interview better for internships. Knock plans on doing the pageant again next year and has no plans of stopping her collegiate swim career anytime soon, positive that both ventures will benefit her after she graduates.

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