WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 17, 2011, 04:08 PM

Fargo girl places second in Miss Teen USA pageant

FARGO – A senior at Fargo’s Davies High School was named first runner-up in the finals of the Miss Teen USA beauty pageant Saturday night.

By: Amy Dalrymple,

Audra Mari, 17, beat out everyone but Miss Texas Teen-USA in the pageant held at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

At a viewing party in Fargo, about 15 supporters closely followed the competition as Mari made the top 15 and then the top five.

“My heart was pounding,” said her boyfriend, Garrett Trochman, also a senior at Davies. “I think it’s crazy that she got that far. I’m very proud of her.”

The group was screaming when Mari made the top two, said Jill Krahn, Trochman’s mother.

“We were all in tears,” Krahn said. “Right at the end, we thought she had it.”

Mari is a three-sport athlete who decided to try entering pageants after a coach approached her while she was in the audience of the Miss Minnesota America pageant.

She was eligible to compete in Saturday’s pageant after winning the Miss North Dakota-Teen USA 2011 title.

Saturday’s competition included swimsuit, evening gown and interview portions.

Judges asked Mari how bullying and teen suicide can be prevented.

Mari, who said she was a victim of bullying as a sophomore, said teens should talk to parents or a trusted adult. She also said girls should be better educated about bullying.

Mari also was asked what her dream job is. She said Victoria’s Secret model because the girls are fit and healthy and have confidence.

Mari’s parents, Jeff and Kaylee Mari of Fargo, and several other relatives traveled to the Bahamas with her for the pageant, Krahn said.

Trochman said although he’s glad he’ll be able to see Mari when she returns today, he doesn’t agree with the judges.

“I think she was the prettiest one of all of them,” Trochman said.