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Miss Teen USA pageant ditches swimsuit for athletic wear

The Miss Universe organization has announced that the Miss Teen USA pageant is dropping swimsuits from the competition.

Instead, the 51 women ages 15-19, who represent 50 states and Washington, D.C., will be judged in a new athletic wear competition, promoting active lifestyles.

It’s also a business move, reports USA Today. Girls spend more time in “athleisure” clothing than in bathing suits. “Athleisure” is the apparel industry’s term for athletic wear that doubles as a casual outfit.

The Miss America Organization will crown its 20th Outstanding Teen this year. The competing teens have always performed a fitness routine while wearing athletic wear, spokesman George Juarez said. Eligible teens must be ages 13-17 during the competition season to qualify.

Rather than crossing the stage in bikinis, teen contestants jog in place, perform two jumping jacks, a side plank and a push-up, flex their biceps and lunge.

The California Outstanding Teen will be selected from among 47 contestants starting at 5 p.m. Friday at the Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno.

JoAnna Kroeker: 559-441-6247, @jobethkroeker

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