Cota confident in heels and high tops

BRATTLEBORO — Madison Cota often has at least one "S" on her chest, whether she's wearing her Lasell College women's basketball jersey or the "Miss Vermont" sash.

The Bellows Falls resident, who is a superstar on the court and a supermodel on the stage, is currently preparing for her next pageant.

"The Miss USA competition is judged in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown, and personal interview," stated Cota, who won the Miss Vermont USA 2017 title on Nov. 19-20 in Stowe. "I believe my strongest phase of competition is interview. Interview is the one portion of the competition that you can connect with the judges and show them who you are as a person and what you have to bring to the title. In my opinion, it's the most exciting phase of competition."

The question is, does she even have a kryptonite?

In 2014, Cota became just the fourth area female to be named Miss Teen Vermont, joining Brattleboro's Holly Mickable (1986), Vernon's Dawn Carrow (1998), and Brattleboro's Maggie Geha (2004). She went on to win the Miss Vermont crown at age 20, which earned her a four-year college scholarship and a spot in the nationally televised Miss USA pageant this summer.

Cota has been working on her interview skills, makeup look, fitness and nutrition in order to be prepared for the event. Her platform will be Organ Donation, in hopes of getting more people in New England to register.

"The most important part of my preparation, though, comes from my appearances around Vermont. Working with my community, giving back and building relationships equips me with all the experience I need to become the next Miss USA," said Cota, who could be the first Green Mountain woman to be crowned since Rutland's Carlene King Johnson in 1955.

She has also used her super powers on the court, scoring 67 points, pulling down 54 rebounds and dishing out 14 assists this season for Lasell's Division 3 women's basketball team. The Lasers, of Newton, Mass., will come to Vermont on Saturday for a 1 p.m. showdown with Norwich.

"I love playing for Lasell, because my team has become my family away from home," said the 5-10 forward, who is one of four captains on her team.

Cota, who graduated from Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, doesn't always come out of the phone booth in high tops or high heels.

"Outside of pageantry and basketball, I enjoy challenging myself with new recipes and curling up with a good book," she commented. "I also love the outdoors; whether it's a summer day at the beach for a volleyball tournament or I'm hiking the beautiful Vermont mountains, I like to experience all that nature has to offer."

Cota is currently majoring in Fashion Merchandising at Lasell College.

"After graduating, I'm looking forward to pursuing a career in Performance Apparel product development, which is a career that would allow me to blend my love of fashion with my passion for a healthy and active lifestyle," said the daughter of Casey and Jennifer Cota.

Who knows, she might change her mind and become a journalist at the Daily Planet just like Clark Kent.


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