Her dad calls her a beautiful person inside and out with a million dollar smile. When you meet her you will immediately know and see the same thing. For Timi Lee Leighton of Eagle, life is about making a positive impact on others. Tonight, Miss Leighton hopes to not only make an impact but also achieve a new level of success as she competes in the Miss Idaho USA Pageant held on the campus of Boise State University.
Leighton, a 20-year old Sophomore at Boise State, has been participating in beauty pageants since she was 15 years old consistently placing among the top in each contest entered over the past several years. But this competition would be special for this Idaho native. While her beloved Broncos take on the Air force Academy across campus today in football, Leighton will endeavor to execute a perfect game plan of her own as well.
Last June she represented Idaho in the Miss Teen World USA Pageant in Houston, Texas, the largest and most competitive event to date for Leighton, and while she did not win the title, she came away from the experience a more determined and confident person.
“I think pageants are something pretty special,” Leighton offered. “I have personally learned so much and gained a lot of confidence as a person.”
Determined to succeed and driven by excellence, Leighton has been working with a pageant coach since April and she believes the coaching and mentoring have paid off. “There were so many things I did not know and I was kind of raw,” Leighton offered. “I have learned the finer details and have spent a lot of time working on my presentation so I feel so much more prepared and confident heading into the Miss Idaho Pageant.”
Leighton intends on pursuing a career in sports broadcasting and roaming the sidelines in college sports or reporting from the pit area of a major motorsports event. Her love of sports started young as part of a sports family. Her dad (Trace Leighton) has coached youth and high school sports in the Treasure Valley for many years and for the past four years has fielded a competitive national snowcross team that her brother (Trevor) competes for and where she is the team manager. Leighton competed in snowcross for a couple of seasons achieving success in her class but she opted to hang up the helmet and be part of the action outside the track.
“Since attending my first racing event I have been hooked,” Leighton explained. “There is nothing like in sports. I want to be a part of it for a long time and I am so fortunate that I can be part of our team. Last season I had the chance to work with the broadcast team that covers the series and that made the experience that much more exciting.”
Life for Leighton is all about balance as she juggles college, pageants, work, and family. “I think family is why I fell in love with racing,” Leighton said. “I love every aspect of it. Our family race team is real special and being a part of it has allowed me to connect with great people all over the country. We often joke that our team would make a great reality TV show. My family supports and encourages me in everything I do. They are my team.”
The Leighton Motorsports team, where she is the team manager, competes in the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series that primarily holds events in the midwest and eastern United States making travel quite a challenge all winter, but challenge is what defines us. The challenge of winning the Miss Idaho USA title is where Leighton’s sole focus is today.
“Winning the Miss Idaho USA Pageant would be something very special,” Leighton said. “There are so many wonderful and talented women competing; it is just an honor to be part of it. Winning here at home means that I get the privilege of representing Idaho at the Miss USA Pageant later this year and that would be incredible.”
Timi Leighton is driven to succeed and her passion for excellence propels this 20-year old as she looks for another crowning achievement on the next phase of her life journey. She is an Idaho gem.