Teen in the running on the catwalk

Surrey student a finalist in modeling contest.

Surrey’s Hayley Frith is one of the top 20 finalists in the ITM-NSR Model Look North America 2011 contest.

It’s impressive enough that Surrey’s Hayley Frith is one of just 20 finalists of the River Rock Resort ITM-NSR Model Look North America 2011 contest.

Chosen from a field of more than 85 semi-finalists, the top contenders were announced at Ferrari Maserati’s Vancouver showroom April 27, putting Frith and 19 others in the running for more than $10,000 in prizes, including an all-expenses paid trip to China to represent ITM and North America in the country’s largest model search, the New Silk Road Model Look Contest.

What sets Frith apart is the fact she’s only in Grade 9.

While many of the finalists are in their late teens or early 20s, the Tamanawis Secondary student is just 15 years old – the lowest age allowed in the contest. The teen, who’s an avid volleyball players and competitive dancer, admits she was stymied to learn she had made the cut.

“I was actually really shocked and surprised that I made it because seeing all of the other girls, they knew what they were doing. And I was one of the youngest.”

Semi-finalists were chosen from a written application and photos and finalists were then selected through auditions which included answering a series of questions and strolling down a catwalk.

“I just did the best I knew how,” Frith said, noting she’s already learned more about modeling during recent weeks of photo shoots, interviews, workshops, fittings and fashion shows that the finalists have been provided.

“I entered so I know what the modeling world is like,” she says, noting she’s considering a future in the business.

At 5’11”, Frith has always been one of the tallest girls in her class. But her height was never an issue for her.

“It never really bothered me,” she says.

The final 20 girls will be judged throughout the ongoing workshops and training they’re attending, and the top three will be crowned at the finale show, scheduled for June 2 at River Rock Show Theatre. The gala event is a fundraiser for the B.C. Cancer Foundation – a cause Frith has no trouble getting behind.

“My grandpa, my aunt and my mom all had cancer,” Frith says. “And they all beat it.”

While it won’t affect the outcome of the Model Look contest, the public can vote for their favourite contestant at www.ITMModel.com until June 2.