Miss Colorado hopeful has eye on medical research

Paige Bowling, a student at Colorado School of Mines, is competing for Miss Colorado.. Photo by Monty Nuss Photography.

Paige Bowling’s competitive streak led her to an unexpected place.

A 2013 graduate of Delta High School, Bowling showed horses at the international level and competed at the national level in speech and debate, she said.

When she enrolled at the Colorado School of Mines for post-secondary education, however, she lost those outlets.

“Needless to say, I’m a very competitive person,” Bowling, 21, admitted.

She learned about the Miss America pageants and the scholarship money up for grabs for such things as academics and community service, in addition to doing well in the pageant.

“I knew I needed to be involved,” she said.

This week, Bowling will compete in her second Miss Colorado event. If she wins, she will represent Colorado in the Miss America pageant.

She has preliminary competitions Thursday and Friday with the finals on Saturday at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

It may be unexpected for a Delta girl enrolled at the Colorado School of Mines who grew up showing horses and taking part in Future Business Leaders of America and speech and debate to end up on a pageant stage, but she has found a new love.

In fact, Bowling said she met her best friend through the Miss America organization.

Bowling is a double major in biochemical and chemical engineering and biochemistry at the Colorado School of Mines. She just added the biochemistry major so she’s a “super junior,” she said with a laugh, noting she now has an additional year of undergraduate study.

Bowling has her eye on a doctorate in biochemistry or immunology because she wants to go into medical research, specifically to find the causes and potential cures for Alzheimer’s disease. Her grandmother died last year of Alzheimer’s.

The extra schooling Bowling needs for a doctorate makes scholarship money offered through Miss Colorado and Miss America attractive, she said.

This week, Bowling will have a judges-only interview before competing in the talent, evening gown, swimsuit and on-stage question portions of the event.

Bowling’s talent is poi spinning, which typically involves spinning fire, but fire is not allowed at the opera house. She will substitute with LED lights.

She spins lights in a darkened room to a choreographed routine.

“I had friends in Grand Junction that did it and said, ‘That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Teach me how to do that,” Bowling said. They “judge talent by professionalism and, do they want to see it again. I don’t think they could memorize my entire choreography if they wanted to. I do think it’s something you would want to see again.”


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